As ChatGPT enters the lexicon across many industries, senior care and assisted living is taking notice too. Is the rise of AI something to “worry” about, or something that can be used to improve practices? We’re taking a closer look at what some of the top industry experts are saying about this fast-growing technology, and we’re sharing a few of the areas where AI could have the most useful applications.


Automation for Basic Tasks

One of the easiest and most common potential uses for ChatGPT in the working world is to automate the most repetitive, ordinary tasks. Some companies have already started using it in this manner. Forbes, for one, explains how HR teams could use ChatGPT and other chatbots to streamline certain time-consuming tasks such as writing job descriptions, resume screening, interview scheduling, and sending reminder emails.[1] It could also guide basic tasks for onboarding employees and clients alike, like filling out the necessary paperwork and required forms.

The majority of experts seem to agree that this is one of the first areas where AI could have a noticeable, positive impact on work, without being quite so tripped up with the potential pitfalls of the language-modeling tech. Many of these tasks are already automated in some way with existing technology, such as resume-scanning software that looks for certain keywords, or automated scheduling for emails. The idea is that AI could remove these basic tasks from the to-do lists of human professionals, allowing them to focus on more complex, strategic, and personalized tasks that actually need a human touch.


Consistent Answers to FAQs

 When employees in senior care and assisted living have common questions, they could turn to a chatbot to get the biggest FAQs answered as quickly as possible. Some organizations may already have some form of a basic chatbot, which could be further improved with the aid of AI technology. Instead of having long FAQ pages that still might not answer employees’ actual questions, AI bots could ensure that everyone can get clear answers in real time, thus improving the work environment and the quality and consistency of care provided to clients. Similarly, AI-powered answers could help to guide employee training, provide access to important materials or resources, and more.

Some experts also think that ChatGPT-style bots could make FAQs more individually useful by providing more customized responses to individual queries. In the world of senior care and assisted living, different situations may require more specific information, and AI could assist employees with more detailed, tailored information rather than a pre-written, overly general answer.[2] In turn, this could improve accuracy and consistency in HR communications overall, as long as the AI is well-trained on correct, specific material and is checked from time to time to ensure its output is, in fact, in line with organizational goals and best practices.


Managing Compliance and Safety

 The senior care and assisted living field requires continuous and careful practices to ensure compliance with a wide variety of legal and ethical regulations. Some experts believe that AI could boost these efforts. For instance, AI could be used to power an application that could track regulatory changes in real time and offer recommended policy updates right away. Along with internal policy FAQs, a chatbot could help provide necessary (and relatively detailed) information for employees who have questions about important matters like employment laws, payroll, tax regulations, and health and safety protocols. AI predictive power is even being discussed as a potential booster for avoiding DEI issues that might arise in the future.[3]

Along with assisting employees to ensure the best, safest practices for clients, AI could also be applied to ensuring the health and safety of employees. Some experts suggest that ChatGPT could note a worker researching assistance for a personal issue and use that information, along with other cross-referenced information such as emails, to determine if someone might need a check-in to be sure all is well.[4] In this regard, however, it would be critical to balance the potential uses of AI with the need to respect employees’ boundaries, informed consent, and privacy; privacy considerations are central to much of the AI buzz.[5]


Building a Better Employee Experience

 While many experts seem to be considering how ChatGPT and other AI bots could elevate the employee experience, this application is still in the earlier stages. Some ideas being floated have included using AI to streamline communications, clarify key resources, improve career development opportunities, and similar options. Different experts have different suggestions, and all, of course, would vary by field.

The convenience, however, would need to be balanced with the need to maintain the “warmth” and connection of true human interaction.[6] In senior care and assisted living, we see every day just how big a difference it can make to have that personal, human connection. Similarly, elevating the employee experience isn’t something that can be addressed through simple algorithms and language models – it still requires a sense of humanity.

AI may find its way even into direct applications for senior care and assisted living. Programs using AI and algorithmic analysis are already able to track things like medical events, habitual behaviors, and other indicators that can alert care professionals when certain actions are needed, or when clients need assistance or evaluation.[7] Combined with the resource-gathering abilities of language-based bots, these technologies could make senior care a little easier, taking on some of the “monitoring” tasks so that human professionals can spend more time on the actual care and the personal, human interactions.

AI is here to stay, at least in some ways, and it may be able to streamline key processes to improve outcomes in senior care and assisted living. ChatGPT can be incredibly useful, especially to streamline and automate simple processes and to improve clarity. Ultimately, though, it is just a tool, not a replacement, and it must still be caring, experienced professionals who develop strategy, manage care, and ensure that clients and employees alike have a caring and personal experience.

By Tom Zeleny, NHA