Even though Brookdale Senior Living reported its lowest census levels ever in February, the month-to-month declines were low and may signal a bottom soon.

As most of you know, I have been pretty negative about where things were going last year, and how long it might take for the industry to dig out of its hole. But my gut tells me things are beginning to turn around.

Brookdale Senior Living just reported on its February occupancy, and I believe it is the first major seniors housing company to report average occupancy for the month below 70%. It hit 69.4%. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the monthly decline of 60 basis points was the smallest since last March. And the month-end occupancy of 70.1% was down just 30 basis points from the previous month, the second smallest drop.

COVID cases across the senior care spectrum have plunged, and vaccinations are high among residents. So, after a very long 12 months, don’t you just sense that the logjam is about to break? There can’t be many excuses about safety, and children having to deal with their parents during the pandemic most likely want a break, like we all do, from last year’s daily routine.

Maybe spring fever is hitting me, but after what COVID has taken away from us, the vaccine will deliver us out of this mess. Or perhaps I am just in need of a dose of optimism, gut feeling aside. I am getting my second Pfizer shot next week, so maybe that is the cause of my new optimism. I already feel 75% safer. Don’t you?