It’s inevitable. As we get older, we need more medication. From small aches and pains, to major medical issues, many seniors have a steady regimen of pills they need to take daily. Which pills to take, and when, can be hard to remember, even for younger folks!
Medication dispensers help solve this problem on multiple levels. First, they can actually remind you to take your medication on time. Perfect! More importantly though, they can also prevent you from taking too much.
Being forgetful once or twice can lead to double doses of medication, but seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s might end up taking many more times the required medication.
Medication dispensers also help caretakers manage medication by allowing them load up once, then automate this particular aspect of caretaking so they can focus on other tasks. Here are our picks for the top 5 medication dispensers for seniors!
Top 5 Medication Dispensers For Seniors
LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser
For seniors who require a number of medications, the LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser is extremely helpful. It also has a feature that not many other medication dispenser has; it locks. This keeps seniors who may get confused from taking medication when it’s not time.
The LiveFine dispenser holds 28 days’ worth of medication, which makes it even more convenient because you only have to fill it every few weeks, or sooner depending on how often you take your pills. Seniors will always know when to take their meds because the alerts sound when it’s time for medication.
There are six different templates you can program for the timing of your medication. The roomy pill compartments can each hold up to 18 pills. Hard of hearing? The alarms go off for half an hour, so you won’t miss a dose completely. Also, there are visual alerts as well as sounds that you’ll notice when it’s time for medicine.
The secure system ensures you take the appropriate dose of medicine. When the alarm sounds and it’s time to take a pill, the dispenser opens and that single pill is released. Otherwise, the dispenser stays securely locked.
For emergencies, a caregiver can override the security lock with a manual key if necessary. The motorized design rotates to release the correct pill when it’s time, so there’s no confusion.
This is an affordable dispenser that costs around $70 to $80. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s a system that works. It’s easy to use for seniors or for caregivers, and avoids confusion when seniors must take multiple types of medication.
The digital display is easy to read, and the dispenser comes with two lids: a clear lid that you can see your medicine through, and a white lid that isn’t see-through.
Lightweight, simple to program, and easy to use, the LiveFine dispenser works for seniors or anyone who has a daily pill regimen.
e-Pill Medsmart Plus Automatic Pill Dispenser
The digital age makes it easier than ever for seniors to remember to keep up with their medication. The e-Pill Medsmart dispenser pulls out all the stops when it comes to ensuring you don’t miss your medicine.
This automatic dispenser uses an alarm to tell you when it’s time for your next dose, but if you miss your dose, you, your caregiver, or family member will receive a text message letting you know. Alternately, you can receive an email or an actual phone call.
You will never miss a dose with this handy system in place. This is perfect for seniors who forget their medications or are suffering from Alzheimer’s or another illness that challenges your memory and sense of time.
It’s also helpful if you have more than one caregiver, so it isn’t hard for whoever is with you to mind your medicine.
The e-Pill dispenser has a lock and key to keep your pills secure, and each compartment holds 20 pills of various shapes and sizes. There are two full trays with 20 different compartments, so you can pack plenty of pills inside and forget about them.
This is a fairly sophisticated pill management system that is worth the money, but it can be a bit pricy if you’re on a budget, coming in at around $750 to $800. The dispenser does have numerous features including smartphone monitoring, a louder-than-normal alarm, and an extra pill container you can take when traveling.
Easily see all of your patient information on the LCD screen on top of the dispenser, including the time of your last dosage and how many doses you have left for the day, which can give your doctor or caregiver all the information they need at a glance.
This system is meant to stay in one place, and it’s a bit heavy for on-the-go use (hence the additional travel dispenser) but for seniors who mix up medicine frequently, it’s very useful.
MedReady 1700 Automated Pill Dispenser
For seniors who don’t need an entire pill management system, look to the budget-friendly MedReady 1700. This is a simple system that holds 9 pills across 28 unique compartments.
Audible alarms let you know when it’s time for your pill, and you can check the LCD display for dosage timing. This is a scaled-down system that is lightweight enough to take on the go (under 3 pounds) and affordable at around $150, making it a mid-priced option.
Flashing lights give you a visual alarm when it’s time for your medication, and like other medicine dispensers, this one also has a secure lock to make sure medicine stays safe.
Keep this rechargeable medicine dispenser powered up by using it with an AC outlet. It also comes with an extra battery, which is great for travel or staying at the hospital. Get notified four times a day when it’s time for your pills, or once a day for 28 days, etc. Set the alarms to fit your schedule.
When the alarm goes off signaling it’s time for your medicine, lift up the door with the pill inside, release, and the alarm stops. Then, close the door. It’s that simple to take your pills.
The only downside to this system is that if you are hard of hearing, you may not hear the alarm go off. However, you may see the flashing light if you have this dispenser handy. The MedReady 1700 is simple to use and one of the less expensive options as far as dispensers with an alarm go.
The battery is rechargeable, and you charge it by plugging it into an AC adapter. This system comes with the charger, an additional backup battery, and two keys to lock/unlock the system.
There are accessories sold separately for the MedReady, including additional keys and an extra tray and cover so you can get your next batch of pills ready ahead of time.
MedCenter Pill Organizer with Reminder
The MedCenter looks more like a traditional pill organizer, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. You can prepare for your pills for a whole month with this convenient pill organizer, timer, and dispenser.
There’s a color-coded system to help seniors and caregivers keep track of medications. You can set four alarms a day to remind you it’s time for your next dosage. Put your pills for the day in a smaller compartment you can carry with you; it’s small and light.
You can be alerted when it’s time for your meds, and the system will let you know when the next dose is so you’ll get an idea of what’s coming up. This can help you or caregivers plan the rest of your day.
The MedCenter can hold up to 60 pills. Oversized numbers and letters on the LCD screen are easy for visually impaired seniors to see. It’s also simple to set up the alarms and reminders; seniors can easily do that themselves.
This system works well for seniors who want to retain some of their independence. It’s not overly complicated, technical, or complex. It’s the best of both worlds; an old-school pill organizer combined with today’s tech that uses alarms to let seniors know to stay on their schedules.
The price of the MedCenter is very reasonable; it sells for around $60, making it the perfect price for seniors who don’t take as many pills and don’t require a more elaborate setup for multiple doses throughout the day.
This is likely the most basic type of pill dispenser you can get without going back to a plastic pill organizer that many people still use. The difference is that the color-coded tops let you keep up with doses at a glance, and the user-friendly alarms alert you when it’s time for your next dose so you don’t have to set your own alarm.
e-pill Organizer with Vibration Reminder
A great selection for hearing-impaired seniors, the e-pill is also a good choice for seniors or caregivers who like to take pills along with them. It’s super compact and small, fitting easily into a pocket, purse, or tote bag.
Four reminders let you know when it’s time for meds, and the smaller size holds four doses of medication. The difference between this organizer and other medicine dispensers is that the vibration goes off letting you know it’s time for medicine.
Instead of a loud alarm, the vibration works well if you are out in public or at a nursing home or hospital, or if you are a hearing-impaired senior. Nobody will know your alarm is going off and you can take your medicine discreetly.
If you want to turn the vibration off, you can switch the alarm to a tone/beep instead. This organizer has some perks, but it’s pretty basic for seniors that don’t want many confusing features or alarms.
It’s also a good choice for taking along with you. This smaller dispenser runs on one AAA battery and three button cell batteries that you can replace when necessary. The compartments can hold up to 8 pills that aren’t oversized.
The LCD screen is simple to see, but the numbers aren’t huge, so if you’re vision-impaired, it may not be the best choice. It does have a handy backlight for nighttime use. When it comes to the convenience of an organizer for on-the-go use, you really can’t beat it.
The e-pill Pocket Organizer sells for around $20 and comes in black or white colors. The screen and alarm is on the front of the square-shaped dispenser, and you flip it over to access the pill compartment. The dimensions are such that it can be slipped into a front shirt pocket.
If you don’t hear your alarm or feel it the first time, it will go off a few more times. The alarm also has a ‘snooze’ feature, which not many dispensers offer.
Find The Best Medication Dispenser For YOU: A Buyer’s Guide
Why Use a Pill Dispenser or Organizer?
Did you know that seniors end up in the hospital due to mismanagement of their daily medication?
Medication dispensers are a great asset for seniors who must take daily medication. Even if seniors aren’t forgetful, it can be difficult for anyone to keep up with multiple medications and several dosages at different times per day.
Using a medication dispenser also allows independent seniors to not have to rely on a caregiver or someone else to dispense their medication. Fill it up, set the timers, and seniors can take their meds with ease when the alarms go off.
There are many dispensers to choose from depending on what features you desire and what your price point is, and it eliminates the daily question, ‘When did I take my pill?’ Avoid overdoses and skipping doses and manage your medication routine with ease.
Dispensers are also wonderful for pill organization. Divide up all the pills you need into the various compartments so you know what you need to take each day.Depending on when you take your pills, you may only have to fill up your pill dispenser once or twice a month.
For family or caregivers, they are a blessing because they can fill them up, set the alarms, and ensure the senior they love is getting the meds they need at the right time, and they don’t have to keep up with the headache of remembering when it’s time for meds.
Some dispensers feature a lock that alleviates the risk of a senior tampering with the organizer and taking too much medicine, or someone taking another person’s medication. Forgetful seniors may try to take meds more than once, but with these systems, it won’t happen. This can keep seniors safe.
How do seniors feel about using medication dispensers? According to studies, they enjoy having a user-friendly aid when it comes to helping them manage their medicine, which can easily become confusing. Organizers and dispensers help reduce the risk of errors and overdoses, which brings seniors and caregivers peace of mind.
Considerations When Choosing a Medicine Dispenser
Many seniors are on a budget. To that end, it may be wise to select a budget-friendly pill dispenser. However, some of the more expensive models have added features that can make it even easier for disabled seniors to keep up with medications.
Consider your budget and then decide which features are most important to you as you narrow down which medication dispenser to choose.
Amount and Type of Medication
Seniors who take multiple daily medications will want one of the larger dispensers that holds a lot of pills. For seniors who only need a few pills a day or simply like taking over-the-counter medicine with them, a basic organizer is fine.
Some medicine dispensers aren’t large enough to hold big capsules or pills. Keep in mind the size and amount of the pills you take daily to ensure you’re getting a dispenser that works with your medicine.
Ease of Use
Some seniors may be confused by a medicine dispenser with too many features, but some tech-savvy seniors may like an organizer that sends texts to their smartphones or emails to their computer when meds are missed.
Gauge what type of senior you are buying the dispenser for. For someone that’s pretty frail and needs a lightweight organizer that’s basic, you want to take that into consideration.
For a senior who’s fairly independent and enjoys technology and knows how to use it, pill management can be made easy with one of the more updated, modern designs.
Some dispensers are rechargeable. This can be great for seniors that may have a hard time replacing batteries or getting to the store to purchase replacement batteries.
A rechargeable battery along with a backup battery pack can be a perfect solution for seniors who wish to use a pill organizer and dispenser every day and make sure it works well.
You may choose a medication dispenser based on how good your hearing and vision is. Some dispensers cater more to hard-of-hearing seniors, while some consider vision-impaired patients.
There are other dispensers that can work for both. However, you don’t want to purchase a device without a light that goes off if you can’t hear the alarm, and if you do want an alarm, make sure it goes off repeatedly or you can control the volume so you won’t miss it.
Portable or No?
Do you need a portable pill manager that you can pop in your purse and go, or do you stay at home most of the time and it’s okay to use a larger system?
This can be a big consideration, because some newer dispensers get the job done, but they’re too large and heavy for travel. There are some organizers that are a bit more portable for seniors on the move.
Which Pill Dispenser Should You Buy?
Need a small pillbox you can count on to keep you updated when to take your meds while you are out? The e-pill fits the bill with its small size, lightweight design, and easy to use alarm system.
For seniors who are worried they’ll forget the numerous pills they must take a day, the LiveFine dispenser holds 18 pills per compartment in 28 compartments for multiple pill organization and dispensing.
Are you a caregiver taking care of a senior that you’re worried will take too much medication or pop pills when you aren’t looking? Grab a dispenser that locks, such as the LiveFine or the e-pill options.
Looking to stay on a budget? The e-pill, LiveFine, and MedCenter dispensers are all under $100.
Hard of hearing? Opt for the loud vibrations of the pocket e-pill organizer, ensuring if you don’t hear the alarm, you’ll definitely feel the vibrations. Another option is the MedReady, which has lights that flash that you won’t miss when the alarms sound.
Not interested in replacing or keeping up with batteries? The MedReady 1700 and e-Pill Medsmart have rechargeable batteries.
For larger pills, you’ll want a dispenser like the LiveFine that has large compartments. For smaller, fewer pills, the MedReady or e-pill fit the bill.
Always on your smartphone or love your laptop? The e-Pill Medsmart sends you a text or email when it’s time for you to take your pill.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Medicare to pay for my pill organizer or dispenser?
Unfortunately no, Medicare doesn’t pay for pill dispensers or medicine management systems.
What if I can’t figure out how to use my pill dispenser?
Talk to your pharmacist, caregiver, or family member and seek help setting up your dispenser if you’re having a hard time. Once you set it up and set the timers, it’s easy to figure out when to take your medicine and you’ll feel comfortable using it.
What if my meds are locked up inside and I need to get to them?
Some dispensers have an override button that caregivers can use. Alternately, make sure your caregiver has the key to the system. It’s best to give the key to someone you trust that you are with frequently, and ask them to allow you access when or if you need.
What if I don’t have a spare battery and I’m alone?
If you’re using one of the dispensers that takes AA or AAA batteries, the best thing to do is always have backup batteries on hand in a drawer or cabinet. That way, you can always change them when you need to.
Is there a chance I could take too many pills?
The good thing about using a pill dispenser is that these can help you avoid taking too many pills. If your organizer is set properly, the alarms will go off when it’s time to take your medication, and this should help you always ensure you’re taking the correct dosage.
Talk to your pharmacist or caregiver if you have questions or need clarification or help with your dispenser.