Due to the multiple health issues that most seniors battle with, they need to take certain medications every day to remain healthy and enjoy good quality life at old age.
But the problem with daily use of medications is that there is always a time when you either forget to take them or are not sure whether you’ve taken them or not. And this problem is common among seniors because they tend to get confused easily and forget things fast — no thanks to their aging memories. The two common results of this problem are missed medications and overdosing. And neither has good consequences.
OUR TOP PICK
However, with an automatic pill dispenser to the rescue, seniors can take their medications as prescribed without skipping or doubling them. And caregivers can rest assured that their aged parents will manage even the most complex medication regimens on their own. So, these devices really do help to improve medication compliance among the elderly.
Best Automatic Pill Dispensers for Seniors: Our Top Picks
With more and more people coming to realize that buying automatic pill dispensers is a far cheaper alternative to hiring professional caregivers, there is increasing demand for these devices. So, it’s expectable that more and more models keep entering the market, making it hard to make the right choice.
However, to ease the challenge of choosing the right automatic pill dispenser from the several models available in the market, we decided to research the market for the best models based on product features, buyer opinions and experience, manufacturer trust, and other important factors.
Based on our findings, here are the 6 best automatic pill dispensers available at the moment.
OUR TOP PICK
The e-pill Medsmart Plus Automatic Pill Dispenser is one of the best dispensers for seniors on the market. Its functions go beyond making it easy for you to take your pills to actually alerting caregivers to any potential problems that need immediate attention. It can also give real-time notifications (via phone call, SMS, or email) to the number(s) you provided whenever you miss a pill.
As a result, you can expect a reminder after 60 minutes in case you missed a pill and also expect caregivers or your family relations to keep up with problems and know when to come for refills. Thankfully, this feature is available at no extra cost.
Coming to its compartment size, the e-pill Medsmart Plus Automatic Dispenser has two medication trays with 20 slots each, allowing you to load up to 20 tablets, vitamins or capsules. And just in case you are worried about other patients breaking in, you don’t have to as the product comes with a lock and real key. The only thing you have to do is to make sure you keep the key safe.
Additionally, you can use this e-pill dispenser at home or even a clinic, but we don’t recommend you hold it for too long as many seniors have complained that it’s a little too heavy. The set-up might be a little tricky, but you should have no problem if you stick to the guide that comes with it. In all, this e-pill isn’t perfect but it has a lot of features meant to remind its users to take their pills. Once you can come to terms with the cost and a few downsides, you will agree that there are plenty of reasons to try this e-pill system.
- Longest-lasting (90-second) alarm
- Allows multiple alarm set-ups for the same schedule
- The use of a real key on the locking lid
- Larger compartments
- Smartphone monitoring feature
- Very expensive
- A little heavy for the elderly
- The small size of the dispensing slot
The MedReady 1700 is a basic, affordable pill dispenser for seniors, especially those who are thinking of giving the idea of automatic medication dispensing a try. It is effective, easy to use and comes with a locked lid which prevents any tampering of the medication as well as a back-up battery in case of a power shortage. You can also top-up the battery by plugging it into a power outlet.
The manufacturer is offering 28 total compartments which can accommodate up to 9 pills each. It features 2 audible alarms to notify patients about dosage timings and the alarm will continue beeping with specified delays. The alarms have an intensity of 85 decibels which is just perfect for patients. There’s an LED display to show time and details of other features.
Like every other product, the MedReady 1700 has a few drawbacks worth noting. For starters, the alarm system has only audible support, meaning people with hearing issues might not find it helpful since there are no visuals. Nevertheless, many dementia patients can benefit from this option. Additionally, the lid doesn’t always lock properly and needs a little adjustment to get it fixed.
Overall, this automatic pill dispenser is a basic, yet impressive kit for a product in its price range. Its array of functions makes it ideal both indoors and outdoors use, as well as for long-term usage. If you’re looking for an attractive yet simple dispenser that is easy to use and won’t cost a fortune, this e-pill dispenser is worth considering.
- Tamper-proof locking lid
- Rotating tray
- Spacious compartments
- Alarm for reminding missed dosages
- Backup power in case of an emergency
- No visual alarm to help those with hearing problems
- Slight issues getting the lid to lock into place
The LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser is one of the best pill dispensers you can get out there due to the plethora of features. It has motorized 28-day slot carousel that delivers the necessary pill at the required time. You can smoothly tailor your drug administration with one of six rotating templates for 1-6 daily doses so you don’t have to worry about frequent refills. Depending on your daily medication, you can opt for once every 4 days or once in 28 days. It’s important to note that the flip and remove mechanism can be managed by anyone.
The next notable feature is its timer and alarm system which buzzes loudly and a blinking red light so seniors with either auditory or visual difficulties can use the pill dispenser. The audible alarm system can be hard to ignore, especially since the alarm can go on for up to 30 minutes to get the attention of seniors.
Another feature most seniors will love is the security functionality which helps to prevent unnecessary access to the medication at the incorrect time. It can also help people with a history of overdose as it only releases pills on schedule. Many seniors will equally be pleased to know that this product is economical with power even though it comes with 4 AA batteries as it will automatically turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity. This makes it a great choice for seniors who want to stay outdoors without spending a lot on batteries.
The final impressive feature on the LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser is its LCD interface from the clock, program alerts, volume variation, and other additional settings to suit their preferences.
In all, the LiveFine Automatic Display is an excellent choice for scheduling your treatment up to a month in advance and is also very reliable and easy to use. It has rich features suitable for both older people and caregivers.
- A classy and effective rotating system
- Use of both audible and visual alerts
- Lockable life and precise time access
- Very easy setup
- Fully automatic
- The lid is opaque
- Occasional reports of faulty systems
The MedCenter 31 Day Pill Organizer allows you to organize a full month’s worth of medication or vitamins at a time. It comes with a 31-day daily pillbox that can help organize your medications or vitamins by the month and can dispense drugs up to four times each day.
MedCenter Daily Pill Dispenser is equipped with a friendly voiced reminder that notifies you of the time, the date and which daily dose to take, a feature that people with poor eyesight will find helpful. After you’ve taken the dose, you can confirm compliance by pressing the “alarm acknowledged” button so the device can tell you when the next daily dose is due. The lids are easy to open to allow for swift access to the needed medications.
Furthermore, you can set up to 4 daily alarms to alert you and also adjust the sound settings to ring louder or otherwise. Based on your programming, the device can also track your daily intake by displaying red and green color coding. The idea is to help you anticipate taking your drugs on schedule and notify you when your entire intake for the day is completed, lowering the risk of overdose. The product uses AA batteries.
In all, the MedCenter (70265) 31 Day Pill Organizer is an affordable kit that does exactly what it’s meant to do – remind seniors to take drugs and dispense on schedule. It can, however, be hard to set up due to the multi-step process. But overall, this product makes for a great buy.
- Organizes a full month’s medication
- Friendly voiced reminder suitable for people with poor eyesight
- Large compartments
- Compartments are occasionally hard to open
- Can be difficult to program due to multiple steps
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The GMS Automatic Dispenser is among the best items preferred by a significant number of people as it is packed with lots of features suitable for seniors. If you take a large number of pills on a daily or weekly, basis, this product is one you should consider purchasing. It has a large interchangeable clear and solid lid to cater to a variety of interests.
It comes complete with two large trays, two keys and two sets of dosage rings that allow you to plan your treatment eight weeks ahead, taking the complication out of remembering dosage times and amounts. It’s ideal for seniors experiencing some symptoms of old age like memory loss, vision loss and so on.
Also, you can program the device for up to 6 daily alarms with each alarm lasting up to 30 minutes until the medications are dispensed. The alarm is also louder than most of the products on the market while the flashing lights continue until the compartments are emptied, even until 30 minutes. After 10 minutes of use, the entire display will automatically shut off to save battery life. The dispenser is battery-operated (comes with 4 AA batteries) and light enough to be carried about. All programmed settings will remain the same until timers are changed as the device retains the settings even when the battery is changed.
Furthermore, the pill dispenser also comes with a tamper-proof locking system that ensures that only the programmed amount of drug is released on schedule. And there’s no need to worry about ease of use as all you need to do is pick a dosage ring that fits the needs of the compliance and then set the alarms.
In sum, the GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser is an excellent medication management tool suitable for seniors who need reminders to take the right amount of drugs and at the right intervals.
- Set up to six daily alarms
- Can be programmed ahead for the next two weeks
- Clever use of lights to alert patients
- Retains settings when changing batteries
- Problems with the internal clock
- Not easy to setup
- Unreliable work system
The MedELert Locking Automatic Pill Dispenser is yet another high performing automatic pill dispenser. It’s one of the least expensive pill dispensers out there but still packed with tons of features that make it stand out from its rivals.
For starters, it comes with a 28-day automatic pill storage box that can hold up to 18 pills each. You can set up top six daily alarms for each day and have it remind you when it’s time to medicate using both sound and flashing light. It also comes with a tamper-proof locking system that helps prevent overdose and can be used both at home and by caregivers in large facilities. The system also covers theft and use by strangers.
Moving on, the pill dispenser has an interchangeable solid and clear lid so you can use the clear lid to see the compartments to know how many pills are remaining and when you need a refilling. When you’re done, you can use the solid cover to maintain your privacy so everyone doesn’t have to know what the device is about.
Other things to know is that the dispenser is also easy to use as it has only three buttons for controls, has a flashing LED for those who might be hard-of-hearing or deaf, and 3 different alarm tones which are different, yet no excessively loud. The next convenient feature is the low battery light that lets you know when to replace the batteries. That way, you don’t have to miss the time to take your medication.
Overall, the MedELert Locking Automatic Pill Dispenser is an impressive device that’s portable, affordable and automated to control your daily pill-dosage per day. However, a drawback is that many users complain of reliability issues as it gets easily damaged when manhandled but this issue is covered by the company’s warranty policy.
- Comes with interchangeable clear and solid lid
- Retains settings after replacing batteries
- Not reliable for long-term use
What is an Automatic Pill Dispenser, and How Does it Work?
An automatic pill dispenser is an electronic device that works just as its name implies — it dispenses specified pills at specified times.
The device has a tray with several compartments meant for the drugs to be taken at specified times. It allows you to specify what times of the day you want the alarm to go off at. At the set time, the device’s alarm goes off, and the tray compartment containing the drugs due for that time is brought out so that the drugs can be taken easily.
In addition to the alarm, some models have lights that blink repeatedly when the alarm goes off. And for compliance monitoring, some advanced models have in-built call facilities that place a call to a specified mobile number whenever medications are missed. With this feature, caregivers can be alerted when medications are skipped.
To avoid overdosing or unnecessary access to drugs that are not needed at each time, virtually all automatic pill dispensers come with a lock mechanism. So, users only gain access to the drugs they need at each time.
Automatic Pill Dispensers for the Elderly: Features to Look Out For
While there may be slight variations in features and designs of automatic pill dispensers, some features are must-haves for every reliable device. So, whether you’re a senior or caregiver looking to buy an automated pill dispenser, here are the features you should look out for:
- Tray size: Although pill dispensers generally have tray compartment sizes that would comfortably hold most medication regimens, some seniors take pills that are more in number or larger in size. If this applies in your case, then you’d have to look out for automatic pill dispensers with larger tray compartments.
- Alarm: This comes with virtually all automatic pill dispensers. But the maximum volumes vary with model. If you’re buying the device for someone who has some hearing difficulty, you might want to shop specifically for devices with very loud alarms.
- Flash light: In addition to the alarm, some devices also alert their users with a blinking flashlight. Such devices are also particularly good for seniors with hearing difficulty.
- Lock mechanism: While all automatic pill dispensers come with a lock mechanism to prevent overdosing and unnecessary tampering with medication, the strength of this mechanism varies from model to model. While some devices come with very strong lock mechanisms that cannot broken through, others have rather weak lock mechanisms that are not difficult to break. If you’re buying the device for someone who’s addicted to some of the medications to be loaded or who is likely to tamper with drugs that are not needed at the time, then your best bet is a model with a very string lock mechanism.
- Ease of use: Some automatic pill dispensers can hardly be set up and used without the need to go through the instruction manual for hours to days, while others are just dead easy to get along with. It goes without saying, but seniors should not be “punished” with a complex pill dispenser. So, always go for one that is easy to set up and use. Else, the objective behind buying the dispenser would be defeated!
- Compliance monitoring: Some automatic pill dispensers come with compliance monitoring programs that initiate certain tasks each time medications are missed, such as placing a phone call or sending a text message to the caregivers.
Last update on 2023-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API