Are Grandkids Allowed in 55+ Communities?

by Susan Quilty on June 24, 2011

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Generally grandkids are allowed to visit 55+ communities. However, there may be restrictions on when they are allowed in the community and where in the community they are allowed to be.

One of the first questions potential homebuyers ask about active adult communities is, “Will my grandkids be allowed to visit me?” They are relieved to learn that the answer is a resounding yes. Even in age-restricted communities, kids are welcome to visit as long as they follow the community rules and don’t become permanent residents.

There are some misconceptions about active adult communities, particularly when it comes age restrictions. Many active adults choose age-restricted communities because they want to live among their peers. They may prefer living on a street that isn’t lined with playing children or frequented by teenaged drivers. But that doesn’t mean that they dislike kids or want to ban them from the community entirely.

Residents at age-restricted communities are often grandparents themselves, or they may have close friends with young children. They typically welcome a chance to meet their neighbors’ visiting family and friends, including kids of all ages. In fact, many active adult communities include playgrounds to entertain young visitors. Some active adult communities offer other special amenities as well, such as the grandchildren’s pool at PebbleCreek in Goodyear, Arizona.

While age-restricted communities are designed for active adults, there are amenities which will appeal to kids. Visiting grandkids often enjoy activities like catch-and-release fishing in communities which have stocked lakes, swimming in resort-style pools, bringing a pet to the dog park or trying out some crafts in a community art studio. Some golf communities even have junior programs for young golfers.

In general, problems with visiting kids only arise when they don’t follow the community rules, which may include limitations on the length of an extended visit. These rules are in place to support the rights of all of the community’s residents, not to make it difficult for grandparents to spend time with their young visitors.

At age-restricted communities, limitations are typically put on visitors under the age of 19, but that age can be different from one community to the next. The length of time that kids are allowed to visit can also vary, but it’s common for kids to be limited to visiting no more than 30 to 90 days out of the year.

It’s likely that there will be rules regarding how or when visiting kids can use the community amenities, such as swimming pools or sports courts. They may only be allowed during certain hours or on certain days, and they typically must be accompanied by an adult. This is both for the safety of the kids, and for the comfort of the other residents who are using the facilities.

Before kids come to visit, it’s important that residents understand the rules for young visitors. Respecting these rules is the best way to be a good neighbor, avoid unnecessary problems and ensure that your grandkids will be welcome to visit again.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Marianna Steel June 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I lived in one of the Sun City communities (Texas). One time, a resident brought her grandkid to the indoor pool. He proceeded to foul the pool which then had to be closed for a week for cleaning. I never went into the pool again after hearing about this incident which, thank God, I wasn’t there to witness in person. Kids should not be allowed in pools, especially at retirement communites, for the benefit of the adults who live there. I do not want to be in a pool where kids will be peeing — or worse.

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David June 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm

And you think us old farts (I am 68) can hold it any better. Yes, we try, but we also have accidents.

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Bill Hucker June 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

That is a valid point, Marianna. My wife and I are currently shopping for a 55+ community, and so far, our favorite is The Villages in Florida. They have both family and adult pools.

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Marianna Steel July 3, 2011 at 8:31 am

Bill, I have friends in the Villages who have l lived there 10 years or more — they love it — they are my age (65). They have so many pools there, I’m sure they can reserve a few for those who love peace and quiet in an adults-only setting. I would move to the Villages myself, except I can’t stand hot, humid weather.

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Judy June 30, 2011 at 7:14 am

I think the biggest reason for the children not being allowed in the indoor pools, NOISE. The space is large and there is nothing to absorb the sound. Most of the indoor pools are designed for lap swimming and working out. Which keeps us hopefully limber. I truly enjoy watching the little ones having fun with grandma and grandpa and even found other grandparents who offer to help the little one with swimming strokes. I live in On Top of the World and we have a miniture golf course that the kids of all age love. Also have a basketball court, swings and other things grandkids love along with grandmas cooking. Judy

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Claire June 30, 2011 at 8:51 am

We live in a Del Webb community and there have been many battles amongst the residents on this subject. The children’s hours have been limited to 3-5 in the afternoon with extended hours on holidays. The battles continue and people have stopped being friends over this issue…sad, but true.

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Marianna Steel July 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

I have found most grandparents to be very territorial. In other words, “Love me, love my grandkids.” But there are many of us who desire to live without the noise and bother of children. If I’m paying a hefty community association fee to live in a peaceful retirement community, then that’s what I want — peace and quiet with no kids running loose.. I’m 65 but have never liked the noise of kids, even when I was very young. I am not alone. I think it’s time for truly adult communities without grandkids. Right now, I live in a normal, all-age subdivision with no active community association. There is a nice family with 4 kids across the street — they bother no one because the parents are responsible. The rest of my surrounding neighbors, so far, are retirement age. I have more peace here than I had at Del Webb. I guess it’s the luck of the draw who moves in next to you.

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Joan Lefkowitz June 30, 2011 at 9:16 am

I am a Realtor who lives in one of the Valencias in South Florida and also sells the surrounding Communities. Our HOA has enacted a rule that children under 3 and incontinent adults have to wear swim diapers and rubber pants under their swimsuits when they swim in our Social Club Pool. They are not allowed to use our Athletic Club Lap Pool. Any child under 14 must be accompanied by an adult when swimming. This seems to be working.

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Bill Pearson June 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Always a hot topic in age restricted communities and when there is only one pool it becomes far more challenging to resolve. In the original Sun Cities we have seven pools with three of them allowing children at fixed hours of the day. It solves two problems in that residents who don’t want to be around kids stay away during the hours they are allowed there. The second works well in that the hours are distributed during the day so there is never really a time they can’t get to a pool.

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oldbitty September 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Wow. Kids are our future, why all the hate? Bunch of old bitties…..

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MIA August 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING ‘AN OLD BITTY’ BUT RATHER THAT CHILDREN DO DISTRACT AND MANY TIMES WORRY AN ADULT. KIDS MAY BE OUR FUTURE BUT WE AS ADULTS BIN THERE DID THAT HAD THAT AND NOW,
WE WOULD LIKE IT ALL GONE. IF YOU LIKE CHILDREN, IT IS GOOD BUT DO NOT PUSH OTHERS TO YOUR WAY OF THINKING BY INSULTING THEIR AGE. THE ONLY WORST THING IS WHEN PEOPLE THINK THEY COULD HAVE THE CAKE AND EAT IT TOO. IF YOU WANT CHILDREN AROUND STAY WITH YOUR KIDS AND OR STAY IN YOUR OWN HOME WHERE THEY CAN BUG YOU AND ONLY YOU.
I currently like in a 48+ community and there are more children and grandchildren here than when I had my own home or condo. I pay a high HOA and Comm charge without even going to the club because whenever I want to go to the gym, pool, bbq or other, all I see is kids yelling, screaming and running around and the parents or grandparents are sitting chit chatting with themselves or reading without paying attention to the children. That is very unfair when they do not pay for anything and you know that if they went outside and had to pay a membership to a club and spa, it would be prohibitive and you would not be able to go out for dinner ever. I personally do not care for non diving pools so I do not go to the pool but I certainly will not agree that not only do these parents allow these children to run around and annoy others but they also want them running around near the home or outside of another owner’s home. If they come to visit, that is fine but why bother if owners are not paying attention to them or even stay with them to enjoy their stay at the community. For that matter why did they buy a place in a 55 community?? Was it because they wanted to get away also every so often? Did they hate staying in a home where the adult was not wanted because it was considered a burden? If you love your parent, do not place them in a place where they will be alone and be ecstatic when they are visited by their families because you figure it is cheaper that way. Be fair to the ones you love and enjoy them entirely while they are alive because the elderly will not need you after. If non-residents want to enjoy their parents or grandparents, place then they should pay for it per person. Using the amenities at a club and spa of a 55+ community will become a big expense eventually because of over usage and oops there goes a low HOA and common charge for every one. Is that fair??
This is not a question of being the “old bitty” but more like taking advantage and being callous or thoughtless for the people over a certain age. It is like the commercial that asks the elderly mother,” .. mom, have you thought about getting life insurance? Why would a parent that owns a home with or without any mortgage want to pay for MORE insurance on their life when if they are gone, the home can pay with the proceeds of the sale of the home and whatever is left will go the selfish children!!! We ‘old bitties’, break our so and so for our children and they care less and less as your like goes down the hole. How selfish can children continue to be with their parents/grandparents. I lost my parent and she died in my arms at home with me and not away from those she loved. She took care of me, I took care of her to the hurtful and painful end……Do u love your parents or are you still taking advantage of them??

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Barbara September 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

Many communities have become daycare centers…. It is up to the “adults” to maintain order and follow the guidelines set forth by the association. I agree with many of the comments posted. Grandparents/parents need to understand it’s a matter of common courtesy and common sense.

Daryl November 25, 2013 at 5:56 am

What a very sad approach to life Mia. I hope you find some form of peace & love in your heart.

emeryc4 July 13, 2014 at 12:15 am

thank u for saying what a lot of use think . we love our grandchilden but we knew the rules when we bought our home how fast so many forget why we bought a55 plus assoclike it say;s 55 plus

Annie September 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

I checked out this website to ascertain what other condo communities are doing about visiting grandkids. I live in an over 55 community in a condo. The area is beautiful and serene “most of the time”. However, visiting grandkids above me are destroying the peace and quiet that I moved here to enjoy. We are now instituting a 2-week continuous visitation rule but I feel we are not going far enough in restricting grandkid visitation as a few days could be skipped and the grandkids are back for another 2-week visit! Also there is no restriction now on the number of days per year that grandkids can visit. We all should be able to enjoy the homes for which we paid good money and not be hassled by visiting grandkids. I totally agree with the lady who said if people want grandkids to visit all the time, they should have moved somewhere else rather than a condo where it disturbs and annoys people living in such close proximity! Hopefully, there will be a standardized visitation rule for all condos in the future so people will know what they’re getting into when they buy!!!!

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Lynn October 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I’m trying to find an age-restricted community (preferably in northern Ohio or any northern state, but I’m not limited) that does not allow grandchildren to visit, or limits their visits strictly. I’m sick of people talking about kids as the future, etc., etc. Whether they are or not has nothing to do with me; I just want peace and quiet and adult company. People without children have rights too, especially when they’re paying a great deal of money to live in a community.

Does anyone know of a place that has such restrictions?

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Daryl November 25, 2013 at 6:24 am

I am truly amazed at the comments on this site. I will however say you have made my decision much easier. I prefer to surround myself with kind and caring people. From what I am reading the residents of these “communities” seem to be bitter lonely people with a dash of rudeness thrown in for effect. I’ve chosen to stay where I currently live. Yes there are children that run around and yes they do make noise. When I take the time to sit and listen they are quite amusing. Yes there are young couples that have fairly loud gatherings but it is those “selfish” “noisy” neighbors that snow blow my driveway in the winter and they don’t charge me a maintenance fee, they do it because we are neighbors. If we don’t see Bertha outside waiting on the curb every other day we go check on her. Why because we are neighbors. My family visits me often and they stay as long as they want, and not once has anyone held a meeting to have my families time restricted or worse yet prohibited. No I’ll stay in the neighborhood I currently live in. Why??? Because we are truly a neighborhood and no one charges a fee.

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Dennis Teel June 21, 2014 at 9:49 am

some of you just don’t get it..senior communities are SENIOR communities for a reason..many of these residents have severe health problems.my mother is 89 and has sleep apnea and moved to a senior community to escape the family lifestye community type of apartments due to the noise of kids and the boomcars blaring their (c)rap music! sleep apnea is a lethal condition! not long after she moved in to the senior living community,two of the ladies in her building began to babysit their grandkids every day,letting them run amok,screaming ,running around the property.the owners of the community wouldn’t do anything which totally amazed me. my mother has moved to another senior community which is quiet 24/7 as they enforce the rules unconditionally!! my statement to those of you who welcome the noise to please stay in your family lifestyle complexes…that’s where you belong..not in senior communities which are aimed at seniors..not families and kids..or do you still not get it?

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Bill Pearson November 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I too am truly amazed Daryl, but more so by your comments. Seems you’ve read a dozen remarks by folks on this site and have come to the astounding conclusion that people living in age restricted communities are “bitter lonely old people with a dash of rudeness thrown in.”

No offense brother, but hardly the case. Are there some folks with issues? Sure, but even in your perfect neighborhood, I suspect we’d find a couple of them with a chip on their shoulder or a few that would qualify for anger management classes. It would hardly inspire me to critique the entire population of a community.

The reality is this: Even back in the 60’s when Del Webb first opened Sun City AZ, the expectations were no more than 6% to 7% of those eligible to move here would even consider it. While those percentages are up a tad, it’s still the minority of seniors opting to live in age restricted communities.

Seems to me to be reasonable to let those living where they do to enjoy it and not assess them all based on a couple of comments you don’t agree with. On the other hand, if you like/love where you live…good for you. Age restricted communities are not for everyone. Mixed age living isn’t for everyone. Hopefully I never become so cynical I judge entire populations by a handful of comments.

I would just close by telling you the original Sun City has 43,000 residents. We give back millions of hours per year as volunteers to maintain that “sense of community” that has been one of our core values since our inception. We don’t look for outside influence to solve our problems, we do it ourselves. Doesn’t get much better than that eh?

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BOB January 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

WOW…My wife and I are well over 55, and our lovely granddaughter lives with us. We were considering a 55+ home to alleviate home maintenance and be surrounded by so many great amenities adult communities offer. BUT, if I have to be surrounded by a neighborhood of “nasty, grumbling, grumpy old farts”, I too would rather stay put in my home and hire some “teenagers” to help with maintenance. We have 7 children and 17 grandchildren.. love them all and can’t wait for their visits with open arms. Here, here Daryl, I wouldn’t even have written if I didn’t read your response to MIa. Mia, you belong in an old person’s home, I can’t believe your comments regarding our young children. Do all of you in 55+ have the same attitude? I still enjoy coaching my granddaughters, playing catch, teaching them the skills of sports. We senior citizens, aren’t going to be around much longer to enjoy these wonderful moments with the young’uns. And…I understand most 55+ communities will allow live-ins at age 18….no trouble there.. parties, fast cars and more. 55+ is not for us! WOW!

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Trent March 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Most older people are so miserable and awful to be around, I’m glad u hide yourselves in those stuff and boring communities. Thank you from the bottom of my heart

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0ver 55 July 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm

I am very sorry for the rude people that think they can buy in a 55 and over community then bring all their kids and grand kids in to stay.
Most people in these communities have families also but choose to live in a community with their peers.
I cannot even use our club pool because we have children there from 11-3 daily peeing diapers no hair in pony tails suntan oils everywhere. Kids leave everything out dont put it up fun jump and yell as all children do.
I dont want to swim in that kind of environment. Rude grandparents taking away the rights of others . Most people have given up using the facilities due to the inconsiderate people taking advantage of the amenities. Take your kids to a plunge or the beach go on a picnic. why be so rude to others.
I am sick of selfish rude people.

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Bill Pearson March 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Truly amazing comments from people who haven’t a clue. Living in an age restricted community is a way of life. Different for sure, but for many of us, it’s just a better way to live.

For those of you who elect to live in age blended communities, more power to you. The difference is I won’t sit in judgment whether some of you may be happy, sad or glad. Happiness comes from within and it appears as if some of you may be wasting your lives judging those of us who choose to live a more quiet lifestyle.

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dennis teel June 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm

@bill pearson
i agree with you..my mother has sleep apnea and can’t live in an age blended community because of the noise ..i myself have a sleep disorder and must live in a senior community where it’s quiet nearly 24/7..a-holes above like BOB are clueless and seem extremely ignorant.

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