The healthcare tool, CareYaya, uses artificial intelligence to link students to seniors in their area. It is now offering art therapy tools on its platform. 

CareYaya was named this week as a finalist for a pilot award from Johns Hopkins University for research on aging and AI.

While the tool itself is aimed mainly at seniors living independently, many of the students can use the caregiver training to pursue work in a long-term care setting. 

CareYaya has been around since 2021, but the AI capabilities are newer, and the company is continuing to expand into new regions, including the San Francisco Bay area. 

The AI component is also designed to help seniors who have cognitive disabilities or dementia; the students can help seniors use a tablet to pull up images designed to prompt memory recall.

Although CareYaya’s AI component is novel, there are many programs around the country aiming to pair student caregivers with seniors, either to provide clinical training or just help combat elder loneliness. 

Another digital platform, ScrippsAVID, virtually connects seniors with dementia with younger volunteers to collaborate on “failure free” art projects. 

One Minnesota program even places high school seniors in senior living and care settings, McKnight’s reported earlier this year.

Overall, nursing students are embracing technology as a way to help connect with seniors, although there are some remaining concerns about how well current seniors will react to tech tools, a recent survey indicated.