Voice Assistants Can Help Older Adults

Lois Seed's vision impairment makes it difficult for her to read books and to look for information on the Internet. So when her retirement community in Carlsbad, Calif., offered to place an Amazon Echo with Alexa voice technology in her one-bedroom apartment, she decided to give the home speaker a try.

Now Seed is hooked--and she's one of a growing number of older people who are turning to digital voice assistants to make life easier. The 90-year-old widow placed the device next to a comfortable chair, where she listens to audiobooks and to classical music streamed from a radio station in Los Angeles, where she used to live. "If I no longer want to listen, I say, 'Alexa, stop,' " she says. "I can make it louder or softer."

In the morning, Seed asks Alexa for the weather and the time. And when any of her 13 grandchildren visit,

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