WINTER PARK, Fla. — The United States population is aging faster than ever.

According to the Census Bureau, one out of 20 Americans were senior citizens 100 years ago.

Now, one out of six people are seniors, according to a 2020 U.S. Census report last year, and officials expect the numbers to continue to grow. 

What You Need To Know

  • One out of six citizens were seniors in 2020, and those numbers are expected to grow.
  • More and more children are caring for their parents as they age.
  • Share the Care in Central Florida offers adult daycare where children can leave their parents for the day while they go to work.
  • The facility offers a variety of other services for seniors, including in-home respite, behavioral health services and caregiver training.

More children are caring for their parents as they age. However, many find it difficult to care for loved ones because of work and the cost of nursing home facilities.

Shannon Feezor of Orlando knows how difficult it can be to take care of her parents and work at the same time.

Freezor has been caring for her 82-year-old mother, Janet Winterburn, for years and found a solution to her dilemma, so she did not have to leave her mom home alone.

“She did everything for me, so now it’s my turn,” Freezor said.

She drives her mother five mornings a week to a facility called Share the Care in Winter Park.

“I can drop her off here. They have CNAs, HHAs and an RN on staff, so she’s always safe,” Freezor said.

Freezor has been taking her mom, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, to the center since the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is worried about her mother and knows the struggles are going to continue to grow.

“It is only going to get worse. And I know that," Freezor said. "And I hope I can do this as long as possible until I can’t work. Until things change for her.” 

Share the Care, which has four locations around Central Florida, offers a variety of services for seniors, including adult daycare, in-home respite, behavioral health services and caregiver training.

At daycare, families drop off seniors at a facility where professionals take care of them, engaging them with games, conversations and socialization with other seniors.

Families then pick up their parent at the end of the day.

Share the Care's goal is to provides seniors with a sense of belonging, no matter the mental and physical challenges they face.

Chief Executive Officer Mary Ellen Philbin said she believes it’s a great alternative to leaving them at home and unattended.

“If this service wasn’t available, the choice would probably have to be institutional care,” Philbin said.

The nonprofit has served Florida families for 30 years, and Philbin said, thanks to government support, it offers more affordable options for seniors.

“A facility like a nursing home can cost between $70,000 to $100,000 a year. We are providing a little bit of services ... in daycare, and the other services we provide can just be a thousand to a couple thousand a month,” Philbin said.