Failing to take medications as prescribed may result in serious medical problems for seniors and may even increase long-term medical costs. Whether trying to remember to take necessary prescriptions or daily vitamins, pill boxes with alarms can serve as a tool for peace of mind for older adults, their family members, and their caregivers.
How do Pill Boxes With Alarms Work?
Regular pill boxes with alarms typically have storage space for seven days or more of medications. There are some that have medication compartments for one day. The alarm systems on them may be a sound alarm, flash alarm, may be customizable allowing patients or caregivers to record personalized messages, or the alarm may be some combination of the three types of alarm.
Caregivers and family members can load the medicine into the compartments and feel confident that forgetting to give a loved one medication on time will not be a problem. Many of the best-ranked pill boxes with alarms can be set to go off up to six times a day.
What are the Main Differences Among Pillbox Alarms?
The main differences among pill box alarms include the available colors, sizes, and features. Colors vary by manufacturer and come in one standard color or several different colors. Most pill box alarms include basic colors like black and white. The sizes of the alarms and pill box organizers vary quite a bit among the different models. Some models include alarms with large, easy-to-read displays, and some are small travel-sized units with small displays. The alarm systems vary in length and width.
Some of the alarm systems are attached to the pill organizers and some are separate units. Other features vary as well. Depending on the brand, the number of daily reminders may differ. For example, one of the pillbox alarm clocks may have four reminders, and another might have six per day. The alarms may also reset automatically for the next day.
7 Best Pill Boxes with Alarms
Here are our picks of 7 best pill boxes with alarms on the market today-
1. MedCenter Interactive – Your Minder Alarm
The new and improved MedCenter alarm product can run on two AA batteries that are included or it can an optional 120 v AC power adaptor can be purchased separately. MedCenter Interactive’s Your Minder Alarm has a large display that makes it easy to see in the dark. The alarm also comes in a variety of colors including yellow, red, blue, green, and black. This alarm system does not include the pillbox which can be purchased separately.
- Caregivers can set 6 different personalized alarm messages to remind themselves to administer medications or the alarms can alert an older adult to take their medications. The customized feature allows patients and caregivers the flexibility of recording medication-specific messages or other unrelated messages. The new feature may be used in place of the traditional alarm sound or in combination with it if multiple alarms are set throughout the day.
- There is a one-year manufacturer warranty on the product if there is a problem after the purchase.
- The alarm continues to go off every few minutes until someone acknowledges it.
- The date and time are larger than a standard alarm clock to help loved ones who may be experiencing vision issues or the alarm may help patients who have memory issues and lose track of time.
- The volume is limited and cannot be adjusted. The sound may need to be amplified for a patient who has hearing problems.
- When using the batteries to operate the alarm, the time functions may lose time and need to be adjusted. Replacing batteries often and double-checking for the correct time can ensure that the alarm stays accurate.
- The button mechanisms are close together and may cause some confusion for loved ones who are visually impaired.
- The MedCenter alarm does not include the pillbox with the alarm purchase.
This pillbox with alarm includes the pill organizer and alarm system. The pill organizer system uses color codes to help caregivers keep up with daily medications and when the last medication for the day has been taken. The organizer and pillbox alarm can hold up to 60 depending on the size. To help patients and caregivers, the alarm system can be programmed for up to four daily medication reminders.
The prerecorded messages alert them to the correct time of day and also tells the correct date on the compartment where the dose is located in the pill organizer. The simple design only requires someone to hit the acknowledge button to stop each alarm from continuing to repeat. The sound settings include a loud setting and also an extra loud setting to help loved ones with hearing impairments. The pillbox with alarm comes in several colors including white, red, green, and clear.
- The pill organizer that accompanies the alarm is lightweight plastic which makes it easy for caregivers to transport and to clean.
- The alarm has a large display and large buttons for easy access by your loved ones.
- It is unlikely that alarm won’t be heard as it has a loud talking alert that can be set to go off up to four times per day.
- Caregivers won’t have any trouble setting the user-friendly alarm to help them remind a loved one that it is time to take his or her medication.
- This product not only alerts the caregiver when it is time to take medication, but it also tells when the next dose will be.
- Some compartments are slightly harder to open.
- Some individuals may not want to use plastic (as opposed to glass or stainless steel) to store medications.
- If a loved one has several prescriptions with larger pills, all of the pills may not fit into the organizer compartments.
- This product only allows for up to four medication alarms which may be insufficient to meet the needs of a loved one.
This pillbox with alarm is compact and perfect for a caregiver to carry when medications are needed on the go. The pill organizer holds four doses for the day. It has some of the same features as other larger models including four medication reminders and automatic reset for the next day. The unit runs on three AG-13 cell batteries and one AAA battery which are all included.
- On the go, caregivers can feel secure, because the pillbox alarm has four daily dose alarms that can be set.
- The convenient size of the pillbox holds up to four doses and can be carried along discretely.
- The vibrating alarm is strong enough to alert a caregiver to know when it is time to administer medication and silent enough to prevent it from disturbing others.
- The pillbox alarm can also be set to a tone, vibrate or both.
- The display is small and may be difficult to read for people who have vision problems.
- The product is pricier than larger versions that have more room and functionality.
- The alarm stops repeating after 10 minutes which might be problematic for loved ones with hearing problems or if the caregiver or patient is not in the room when the alarm goes off.
- The alarm has a snooze function which may not be ideal in some homecare settings.
This pillbox with alarm is a compact reminder system that can be taken on the go. Caregivers can easily pack four doses to take a loved one on a day trip or to the doctor. An extra storage box is also available for purchase. The MEDglider is spill-resistant but easy to open. It has three alarms settings including light, voice, and sound. The alarm system uses two AAA batteries that are not included.
- The alarm can be set for up to four times per day and has an auto-repeat function to ensure that nobody forgets to take medication.
- The multiple alarm may be helpful to loved ones who may have hearing or memory problems.
- The pillbox with an alarm can easily fit into a pocket for travel.
- The dose numbers are limited to eight small pills which may not be convenient for patients who have larger pills.
- The required AAA batteries are not included when the timer and pillbox are shipped.
- Because of the different alarm types and settings, some caregivers and patients may find the initial set up more difficult than some other top brands.
5. MedQ Digital Electronic Pill Box – Smart Medication Reminder
The MedQ Smart Medication Reminder has a unique alarm system that starts softly and gradually increases in volume to help avoid agitating a loved one. The LED technology adds flashing lights to indicate the correct medication to take. The unit has several special features such as an anti-skid bottom to keep the pillbox firmly in place, oversized and easy-to-open compartments, and a low battery indicator to help caregivers keep the unit in good working order. The pillbox with alarm comes in one attractive color.
- The alarms are easy to set, and the volume of the alarm is loud enough for a loved one who may have minor hearing problems.
- The alarm beeps and lights up to indicate which medication should be taken and at what time which may reduce mistakes.
- The product is highly usable at home or on short trips.
- Extra features such as the anti-skid bottom and low battery indicator can help the caregiver keep the unit in place and in optimum working order.
- This particular pillbox with reminder only comes in one color.
- As with most smaller pillboxes, this one has limited space which limits the number of doses or pills that a patient can have in the pillbox.
- This product is a little more costly than other top-ranked sizes.
This pillbox with alarm is unique in that it has a locking mechanism that opens when its time to take medications. The locking function is meant to help prevent a patient from taking medication that he or she may have forgotten, to help a patient take the correct medication and avoid the wrong dosage. The locking function may also be a benefit to the caregiver for the same reasons. The alarm repeat is longer than some other brands that repeat for as little as 10 minutes. The pillbox has 28 compartments that help caregivers plan ahead. This pillbox with alarm comes in a clear color that is user-friendly, easy to load, and easy to clean.
- The locking mechanism may be beneficial to patients with memory issues and may serve as a safety measure for caregivers.
- The alarms are easy to set and include three different tones. When the tones are off, a light flashes for up to 30 minutes to help your loved one remember to take medications.
- The pillbox with alarm runs on four AA batteries which are included.
- The controls to the alarm are located conveniently on the face of the dispenser.
- The medication slots are smaller than some other models which may limit the number of pills that can fit into the pillbox.
- Patients with Arthritis in their hands may find it challenging to open compartments easily.
- The cost of the product is slightly higher than some other top brands.
7. MedTime XL Automatic Pill Dispenser with Lock
The MedTime device provides an alert and dispenses medications up to 28 times before it needs to be reloaded with meds. The setup procedure is relatively straightforward for this type of electronic device – similar to setting the functions on a digital watch. It has 28 compartments for medications to be filled by the caregiver. If there are four medication times per day, the device can be loaded for a full week (4 x 7 = 28). At each medication time, the dispenser flashes a light and rings an alarm until someone turns it upside down to pour the pills into the hand; it turns off after an hour if not turned off. The device has a lock to prevent access to more meds than is needed at any time. Check the price information and product reviews here.
- Assuming four uses per day, can be loaded with meds for an entire week at a time.
- Automates medication dispensing.
- Straightforward setup.
- Easy to use.
- Several different alarm sounds are available.
- The device has several test functions to determine whether it is working correctly.
- Dispensing is automatic, but there is no assurance that the meds are actually taken.
- A person with dementia may not be able to learn how to use a new dispensing system.
- A person with dementia may be agitated by the alarm or by the locked dispenser.
- At some point, the person may no longer understand what to do when the alarm rings. Be sure to check frequently that the person understands how to use the dispenser and is actually taking their pills at the appointed times.
The information in this article about the top pillboxes with alarms is for informational purposes only, and it should not be considered medical advice. Caregivers and patients should practice caution when purchasing medication-related products. Products should be chosen based on your loved one’s needs and his or her individual circumstances. When in doubt, consulting a medical professional can help caregivers make the best choice for their loved ones.
Selecting the best pill boxes with alarms was based on several factors including but not limited to overall quality and durability, special features, portability, and potential for benefitting patients and caregivers. It is our goal to provide information that may help you in selecting the best product to fit your needs.