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The challenge currently, not just for elders, is that Alexa (and others) offers a platform, so it can be customized in any number of ways. For most this is like getting a computer 25 years ago. It was a great platform, but you didn't know how to incorporate it into your life. No problem today!

I have not fully explored Alexa, but enjoy what I what I do use it for. I never thought of replacing a radio, but it gets stations I can't get on my radio, and all I have to do is ask. I noticed someone didn't like paying for music. I use it for access any Pandora channel--which presumes you have setup some Pandora. 

So more important than Alexa are the services. Right now that is left to the buyer, so I think an examination of what Alexa can do should be the first step. Alexa is also licensed to other manufacturers so there will likely be some features that emerge that make it more useful. Most people focus on the Echo. I actually have the cheaper Alexa Tap which has one key difference, you must press a button to talk to Alexa, eleminating one of the unsettling features of Alexa.