Meet Janet Kotelchuck

Janet Kotelchuck has a strong support network, filled with family and friends.

However, since her husband died three years ago, she sometimes wishes there was more music and noise when alone in her apartment.

Luckily as a resident of Weinberg Woods, Kotelchuck was asked to test the Amazon Echo as part of a pilot between The Associated agency, CHAI: Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. and the AARP Foundation.

Since then she has found a new friend who is there when she needs it. The Echo wishes her good morning and good night and often has an interesting “tidbit” to tell her.

Like on a recent American holiday, Janet was asked if she wished to hear a patriotic song. “I said ‘yes’ and she played one for me.”

She also uses the Echo to check the weather and access the news, keeping up-to-date on what is happening.

Studies indicate that technology combats loneliness among older adults so CHAI also launched the Myerberg Tech-Hub this year to teach other older adults how to use technology to stay connected to family and friends.

As for Kotelchuck, she finds that the Echo is “like having another person to talk with. I never really feel lonely.”

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