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.
Understanding Why People Forget Taking Their Pills
While some memory decline is normal in old age and not everyone who uses pill reminders are suffering fro dementia, many of them do.
Dementia affects an estimated 54 million people worldwide, and over 30% of these suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It progresses gradually and will affect your ability to make decisions, lead a normal life, or remember details that happen on a daily basis.
It is important to keep in mind that forgetfulness affects everyone from small children with autism who need prompts for everything down to the average adult suffering after a long week at work.
There are two ways to define forgetfulness – in terms of its appearance or by its impact on daily life. Appearance refers to forgetfulness as an observable change in someone’s behavior. They may appear normal during the day, but struggle with remembering small details about their lives. Their ability to make sense of a conversation is impaired, instead focusing on asking questions and listening to the answers that they have already heard.
As time goes on, this can become a vicious cycle where they will ask questions that only lead them into more confusion and further loss of memory until it reaches a point where everyday functioning is difficult or impossible.
Forgetfulness impacts our everyday life due to the single-mindedness with which we carry out tasks. We tend to focus on what we are currently doing and block out everything else. This can cause us to overlook details that the person with dementia has taken such great care in remembering when they were younger. Think of someone who is constantly reciting the days of the week while your mother or daughter struggles with this simple task.
As this disorder progresses, it will begin to affect people’s memories for personal information, which means they will struggle with remembering things like names, birthdays, anniversaries, addresses and telephone numbers, and yes also taking pills. This is where the pill boxes with different alarm systems com in handy.
How Do Pill Dispensers 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 dispensers 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 dispenser 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 Dispensers with Alarms
Here are our picks of 7 best pill dispensers with alarms on the market today-
1.Reminder Rosie Talking Alarm Clock
Seniors who live alone or with caregivers need devices like this Reminder Rosie to help them remember vital activities like taking their meds, which are crucial for aging. It makes things easier to understand and provides a remedy that saves one time and effort.
One interesting thing about this device is how the manufacturer set it up such that one can suggest having other types of voice playback that aren’t related to crucial tasks. Imagine if you can have your grandkids record a greeting when you wake up so that you can hear a familiar voice when you wake up? And who would not want to get a reminder telling them how much they are loved at any time of day?
This feature is literally what makes Reminder Rosie to stand out from other smart devices like Alexa-integrated Amazon products. The personalized feature is what makes this device priceless for loved ones living alone while aging at home.
- One can set up the alarm to their preferred tone which can be loud enough and be heard up to 100 feet away.
- Even though you need electricity, you don’t need internet access to function
- While it runs on electricity, you can use three triple-A batteries when it is not available
- You can establish various personalized reminders for a wide range of purposes.
- The playback can issue different verbal instructions so that a loved one or caregiver can record their voices and hear familiar voices playing especially if you live alone.
- Reminder Rosie unfortunately comes with a 25-reminder limit
- It is more expensive compared to other products in the market
2. MedCenter – 31 Day Pill Organizer With Reminder System
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.
3. E-pill 4 Alarm Pill Box Organizer with Vibration Reminder
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.
4.TabTime Timer Electronic Pill Reminder
The TabTime Tab Timer, Electronic Pill Alarm Reminder with 8 Alarms is a practical reminder that alerts one when it is due time to start taking their medication. This device may be stored in the pocket or backpack, mounted on a wall, placed on a desk, and even fastened to the fridge with its convenient magnet.
If your loved one is likely suffering from conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s – Tab Timer Pill Reminder is the best device for those who struggle to keep up with their medication. All you have to do is simply set up an alert and the user will take their medication.
- Small and compact to fit in a pocket, hung up somewhere in the house
- Ergonomic design and easy to use
- Alarm times can be adjusted if the routine changes
- Uses only three huge buttons to control
- Offers a limited number of alarms – only 8
- Requires one AAA battery which could be replaced regularly
Is it recommendable?
With a versatile design that features an in-built magnet, you can choose to stick it to the refrigerator, hang it on the wall or place it on a surface. Clearly, this device is perfect to organize your pill intake when it alerts you when you have to take medication.
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.
6. LiveFine’s Automatic 28-Day Pill Dispenser
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. Live Fine Bluetooth Pill Dispenser
Live Fine Bluetooth Pill Dispenser is a comprehensive but productive system that can handle the most complicated doses of medication with corresponding ease. Maybe it could have probably been cheaper and made better, but it really does the job without mistakes.
Seniors who take daily medications should get the right dosage at the exact time of day. This automatic pill dispenser is made to do exactly that without confusing them of which pills to take or which ones the caregiver who is in charge of organizing the doses.
- After a price reduction of about $40, this pill dispenser is now more affordable
- Comes in a convenient design
- Allows up to aspirin-sized 18 pills in 28 compartments for a whole month’s cycle.
- Requires Bluetooth connectivity with iOS Version 8.1 and higher for iOS and Version 4.4 and higher for Android smart devices.
- Cannot fit pills of all sizes.
The design of this pill dispenser may look complicated but the visual and audible alerts make it convenient even to be heard by people with various hearing impairments.
The alert gets initiated by the battery-backed timer for 30 minutes until it is picked up. It then senses the movement and stops the alert. There is when the medication is directed. Once seniors use this device, it eliminates chances of dosage mistakes and enables one to take fairly complicated medication plans without too much supervision.
CAUTION- 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.