As more than 3,000 people descend on NIC in Chicago this week, we hope talk will also focus on operations and ideas and not just investments. Good luck with that one.

If you can believe it, this is my 29th consecutive Fall NIC Conference. There may be 15 of us who can claim that. But boy has it changed from the days they were trying to educate capital so money would be invested in senior living.

Today, there is certainly no shortage of capital. While NIC is known as a deal-making conference, there should be a lot of other things on attendees’ minds. Are they talking about affordable senior living? What about penetration rates, which seem to have stalled in the 10% to 11% range? We assume many will be talking about census woes which, despite the NIC MAP data, do not seem to be improving much.

Is anyone talking about any new technology that really works to help lower costs or help with labor shortages, or care? Is anyone talking about the quality of care they are providing? Or what they are doing to improve it?

I know it is an investment conference, but these things all impact investment values, which do not seem to be increasing despite historically low interest rates. But believe me, I expect the atmosphere to be robust, if not giddy, as everyone still wants to invest.  And with interest rates so low, the returns do remain high. As long as you have residents and staff. Stop by and say hello to me and Ben this week.