Demographic developments have challenged our research on how to assist elderly people by using robots. The KSERA (Knowledgeable SErvice Robots for Aging) project integrates smart home technology and a socially-assistive robot to extend independent living for elderly people, in particular those with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). The social robot is the most visible component of the system playing the role of communication interface between the elderly, the smart home, and the external world. The robot’s behavior is determined in part by sensor information gathered through the smart home. To ensure user acceptance, we used user-centered design to implement the robot’s behavior. This paper describes the KSERA system, how it was developed based on user needs, treatment plans, and lab studies, and how we validated the approach through user studies and field trials. The key enabling technologies for successful socially-assistive robots include person- and self-localization abilities, person-aware navigation, speech recognition and generation, robot gestures, emulated emotions, eye contact and joint attention, and audio-video communication with family members and care givers.