Whether you are a family member or a caregiver, you may find it difficult to remind someone to take their medication on a daily basis. Especially with dementia patients, taking medications on time without missing doses can be difficult.
You may have used pill organizers that organize medication dosages, but automatic pill dispensers could be a better fit for your forgetful loved ones. With just a few alarms and a tamper lock, you can ensure that the right amount of medication is taken at the right times.
Top 5: Automatic Pill Dispensers Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
The GMS 28 Day Automatic Pill Dispenser has one of the most basic designs available. This product has a clear top to let you see how full or empty it is. It also has 28 compartments, each being able to hold up to 18 aspirin-sized tablets.
The quality has been reported as fairly average since the alarms are reliable. However, since there is no setting for the volume, some elderly customers have said that the alarm went unheard on some days.
If you prefer a simple design, then you might like this one. While it is a little more expensive than other products, GMS included a 1-year warranty at no extra cost, making it one of the most popular products.
This automated pill dispenser runs off of four AA batteries to run the alarms, and four batteries are included with the purchase.
e-pill MedSmart Plus is possibly one of the more expensive options out there. But, don't worry - this automatic pill dispenser comes with all of the bells and whistles. Like the last product, the e-pill runs off of four AA batteries, but it also has a power cord.
To access and monitor the settings, it has an electronic display that displays the date, time, how much power the battery has left, the current volume level, the alarms that are set, alarms that have passed, and alarms that are coming up.
Unlike others, this one has an audio and a visual alarm, too. A light blinks while the alarm goes off so that the deaf or the hard of hearing know that it is time to take their pills.
Because it is so expensive, it is not that popular. But many people say that with the large pill containers, it is able to hold up to 20 aspirin-sized tablets. And, with the ability to send notifications to a caregiver, this product is well worth the money.
MedReady 1700 Medication Dispenser was designed to look more industrial. Akin to a small home alarm, this bluish gray pill dispenser does not have the see-through top like most.
Regardless of the design, the MedReady has a noise and light alarm as well as 28 compartments. The main issue most people have with this product is that the compartments are much smaller than average, and can only hold around 9 aspirin-sized pills.
It is powered by a cord, but if it is unplugged or there is a power outage, it has a backup battery to keep it running for a while.
The Med-Q Automated Pill Dispenser is another great product that you should consider. While it only is able to hold up to two weeks worth of daily pills, this product has a screen that can be easy to read and use. This screen is very functional since it displays the time, day, and when the next alarm will sound. On either side of the screen are buttons to control the alarm settings.
The biggest problem that consumers found was that you cannot change the volume frequency. The frequency is much higher than most, so sometimes it can be hard to hear.
Regardless, the smaller design is favored by those who are either traveling or people who take a small amount of medication once a day or so.
Very similar and almost identical to the first product on this list, the Active Forever Pill Dispenser has a clear top so you see each compartment, a day counter wheel, and the time and alarm controls in the center.
However, this product is a little less popular mostly because it has a shorter lifespan. Unfortunately, this automated pill dispenser was built with a lower-quality plastic that can easily break if dropped. So be careful! If you are looking for a more affordable 28-day automatic pill dispenser, this is one possible choice.
best automatic pill dispenser
You probably have a good idea of what kind of automatic pill dispenser you want to use now. The best ones have a decent amount of storage space for many small pills or several large ones as well as reliable alarms.
When thinking which automated pill dispenser would work best for you, the GMS 28 Day is possibly the best one to choose from. We would highly recommend this product to help regulate a medication schedule. Click the link to take a look at its full specs and compare it to the pill dispenser you use now. You might find it is worth the investment.
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Commonly Asked Questions
What Are Automatic Pill Dispensers?
Automatic pill dispensers are small round or square shaped containers that use timers, sounds, and other devices to remind you to take your daily medications at the times that they need to be taken.
Some models are specially designed for caregivers to prepare and then give to elderly patients. If the pill slot was not opened after the dispenser's reminder noise went off, some dispensers send a notification to the caregiver through an SMS message.
What Are Some Benefits of Using Automatic Pill Dispensers?
They can be very convenient for people who often forget to take their medication at the right time, miss a dose, and for people who are more at risk of taking too much or too little of their medication due to memory problems.
Many people feel that they have an added sense of security when it comes to the patient's or family member's well being.
What Should You Look out for When Looking at These Products?
One of the biggest things to be wary of is if there are any product recalls or reviews that claim it malfunctioned.
With the more expensive pill dispensers try and look for a warranty. The average automatic pill dispenser costs between $50 and $100 or so, but the more modern and techy ones, like the MedSmart Plus, can cost several hundred dollars.
If you think it might be easily dropped, getting one with a warranty or a protection plan allows you to easily acquire a replacement in the chance it breaks.
How does an automatic pill dispenser work?
When you purchase an automatic pill dispenser, you will just need to load your medications and program the dispenser to release each dose at a set time. You can find products that can be programmed to dispense pills up to six times a day to help you manage more complicated schedules.
When the pills are released, the dispenser will make a sound to let you know that you need to go take your medications. Some pill dispensers even have the ability to provide you with spoken instructions or reminders when your pills get dispensed.
Who should use an automatic pill dispenser?
Anyone can use an automatic pill dispenser, but they can especially beneficial to different groups of people. If you have trouble remember to take your medications/if you have already taken them for the day, an automatic dispenser can help ensure you don't miss a dose or overdose.
They can also help with management or more complex medication needs, such as multiple pills at different times throughout the day. These schedules can be confusing and hard to keep up with, so having a dispenser that will automatically dispense pills when you need to take them can be very beneficial.
Another group of people that can benefit from the use of automatic pill dispensers is senior citizens. Some can benefit for the reasons listed above, while others may also benefit if they require more assistance with making sure their pills are taken properly.
Some seniors need reminders or may choose to skip their medicine for various reasons. With an automatic pill dispenser, a caregiver can set up the dispenser and program it to dispense the pills at the required time, encouraging the senior to take their medications.
Senior citizens who may be at risk of overdosing and taking too many pills at a time, intentionally or unintentionally, can also benefit from these products since they will dispense only the necessary medications.
How many doses can an automatic pill dispenser dispense each day?
Each model may vary, but you can find products that will allow you to program the machine to dispense up to six doses each day.
Does Medicare cover automatic pill dispensers?
Pill dispenses are one form of medication management systems. At this time, no medication management systems are covered by Medicare.
However, you may be able to receive assistance from Medicaid towards the cost of an automatic pill dispenser. This may vary based on the state where you live though, so you will want to check on the specific rules and regulations for your area.
Can you lock an automatic pill dispenser?
Yes, most automatic pill dispensers are designed with a locking lid. This will allow a caretaker to fill the dispenser with the correct medications and then lock them to prevent the patient from accessing them outside the times they should be dispensed.
How can you convince seniors to take their medications as prescribed?
There can be a number of reasons behind a senior's reluctance to take their medications. Some suffering from dementia may be concerned the pills are poison. Others may be trying to assert their independence and regain a sense of control over their life by refusing to take medicines prescribed by their doctor.
If a senior citizen you are caring for is refusing to take their medications or has started giving you a very hard time about it, there are a few things you can try:
- Confirm the medications aren't causing any side effects:One reason a person may be refusing to take a medicine is that is causes side effects that leave them feeling unwell. After the senior in your care has taken a medicine, pay attention to see if they consistently complain about a particular symptom, such nausea or feeling dizzy. If so, you will want to share these symptoms with a doctor to see if there are any alternatives to try.
- Talk to their doctor together: Some seniors will be more responsive when a doctor explains why something is important than a family member or care giver. Rather than sharing how their medications help them, schedule an appointment with the doctor and let the doctor explain to them.
- Change the medication's flavor: If the flavor of the pills is leaving an unpleasant taste in a senior's mouth or throat, it could be the reason they do not wish to take their medicines. Check with the pharmacist or doctor's office to see if there are other flavor options or ways to flavor the medicine. You could also try giving the pills with a soft food, such as applesauce or yogurt, to mask the taste of the pills.
- Prioritize which medications are most important: If it is becoming a huge struggle to get any pills down, be sure to prioritize which ones are most important and start with those first. That way, if you're only able to get the senior citizen to take two out of their five pills, the two most important ones will have been consumed. Check with the doctor to help you prioritize which medications to give.
How much does an automatic pill dispenser cost?
Most automatic pill dispenser cost between $50 and a couple hundred dollars. There are also options that are significantly more expensive, but they have added features, such as connectivity with a smartphone, facial recognition, and alerts to notify the patient/caregiver if a dose is skipped.
3 Good Reasons To Get An Automatic Pill DispenserAs we get older, medication tends to become part of our daily routine. At first, it might just be a pill or two taken at breakfast. But if you or a loved one suffer from a lot of medical issues, that single pill might become a whole handful.
Sometimes it's hard to keep track of all of them--and harder still to remember when to take them! Each pill comes with its own set of instructions. And at times, taking in all that information can be overwhelming.
If you or your loved one has trouble dealing with all those medications, maybe it's time to invest in an automatic pill dispenser. Here's three ways that an automatic pill dispenser can make your lives much easier:
1. An Automatic Pill Dispenser Gives You The Perfect Dosage Every TimeIf you're dealing with a lot of medications, sometimes it's easy to forget how much you're supposed to take. And worse still, your loved one might forget that they've already taken their dosage! Double- or triple-dosing can be extremely dangerous, and it's always a fear in the back of caretakers' minds.
Fortunately, a pill dispenser provides the right dosage every time. Each amount is hand-selected and carefully measured before being added into the machine. You'll have complete control over the situation, and won't have to worry about your loved one taking more than their prescribed dosage.
2. An Automatic Pill Dispenser Alerts You When it's Time for MedicationWe've all been there: you're running around, busy with work or household activities, and suddenly remember that your loved one didn't take their medication. Now you're scrambling to get their dosage and worrying that it might be too late. Or worse still: your loved one lives alone, and always seems to lose the notes and reminders that you leave for them.
Automatic pill dispensers come with built-in alarms that let the recipients know when it's time to take their dosage. When the alarm goes off, they'll pull the handle, take their medication, and be on their merry way. You can program the machine to your exact specifications, then relax, knowing that it's all been taken care of.
3. An Automatic Pill Dispenser is Locked and SecureIf your loved one is the forgetful type, you might be worried about them sneaking extra doses when you're not looking. You might also be worried about children or pets in the house getting their hands (or paws) on potentially harmful medications. You can lock up the pills in a cabinet or safe, but then you have to deal with the hassle of unlocking it multiple times a day. And what if you lose the keys?
An automatic pill dispenser is fully locked and secure, meaning that your loved ones can't break it open and take more than they need to. You'll simply add their dosage, lock the machine, and walk away knowing that the medication is secure. And the machine is programmed to dispense only at certain times of the day; your loved one can't get more, no matter how many times they pull the handle.