Right now senior living is at an inflection point.

By Steve Moran

My head is spinning!

NIC conferences always present this huge time dilemma — how much time do I spend attending sessions v. how much time I spend networking.  

If you are new to NIC or shy, content is kind. If you have lots of relationships and specific deal-making goals the content sessions don’t seem very important. Over the years, I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to senior living operators who tell me they never — or almost never — attend any sessions.   

In my first years of attending NIC conferences when people more often than not had no idea who Steve Moran or Senior Housing Forum was, the sessions were vital to keep me busy and to meet people.   

Not so much anymore. I have to be very disciplined or I will end up only networking and . . . 


Inflection Point

Right now senior living is at an inflection point. There are all these things going on:

  • Senior living occupancy is stagnant at a sub-optimal level of 88.6%. And while NIC believes it is more or less stable at this level, many others anticipate further slippage.

  • Nursing home occupancy is bad and getting worse every quarter.

  • There are more and more rumblings about federal regulation of assisted living . . . I have a separate article coming soon on this titled “I Told You So!”

  • Healthcare costs continue to go up and today skilled nursing is a part of the healthcare continuum.  

  • Assisted living is mostly not seen as a part of the healthcare continuum but it has the potential to be the most potent force for controlling costs.

  • Medicare Advantage programs currently serve 35% of eligible seniors and that market penetration rate is growing.   

  • There is a huge push toward value-based healthcare, meaning that the people who are responsible for paying the bills (mostly the federal government) are really interested in figuring out how to make sure those dollars . . . our dollars are being spent well.

A Box of Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

The content of this year’s spring NIC in Dallas is a modestly deep dive into a whole jumble of bits and pieces of this healthcare, senior living, quality of life ecosystem, that no one really has figured out or dialed in. It is complex, confusing, confounding and exciting. Think of it this way.

Someone hands you a box of jigsaw puzzle pieces and tells you there is not just one but several puzzles in the same box. Even cooler or more frustrating is that many of the pieces will fit into more than one puzzle picture and that there is no one right perfect picture, but the possibility exists to create a number of lovely complete pictures out of that box.   

This is where we are at today. If you are in a big company or a small company there is an opportunity to come to the puzzle box and build something spectacular. Something that will serve residents, team members, families and society.

The Complete Picture

I have no idea what your complete picture looks like, but I can tell you about it. You will know that you are serving others well. That you are making the world a better place for people.  


That is why the content is so valuable.