Most seniors have to take more than one medicine every day. Chances are good that some of those drugs are essential for their health and missing a day or two can potentially have serious consequences.
Seniors, especially those with cognitive impairment often forget to take drugs.
Usually, they skip a few pills, though overdose cases are not uncommon as well. Unfortunately, most medications won’t work (or even cause problems) if they’re not used as prescribed.
Therefore, it’s extremely important to make taking drugs as simple and easy as possible for the elderly.
That’s when a reliable pill organizer comes in handy.
Features to Consider When Buying a Pill Organizer for the Elderly:
- It’s often a good idea to choose a pill organizer that is specially designed for seniors with a specific health condition: e.g. if your elderly loved one tends to forget to take the drugs, a pill organizer box with a reminder system can be a great choice.
- Make sure the pill organizer is large enough for the number of pills your elderly loved one has to take.
- Many seniors have to take two or three doses of drugs per day. For them, the best choice is a pill organizer that has boxes with multiple compartments (morning, afternoon, and evening).
- Opt for a pill organizer that is made of BPA-free plastic.
- Color code and large letters can help seniors with poor vision to find the right compartment of the pill organizer (some organizers come with braille symbols).
- Choose a pill organizer that is easy to open and close.
- If overdosing is a real concern, opt for a model that lets your elderly loved one access only one dose of medication at a time.
Best Weekly Pill Organizers for Seniors
AUVON iMedassist Weekly Pill Box
This pill organizer has four compartments (morning, afternoon, evening, night) of different colors for each day of the week, so it’s an ideal choice for seniors who have to take pills 3 or 4 times a day. The compartments are molded and made of BPA-free plastic. The daily boxes are detachable so your loved ones don’t have to take with them a whole week’s medication if they’re away for only a few days.
The compartments are quite large (each one has a dimension of 0.9″ x 1.1″ x 0.9″) so they can hold several pills. The boxes are easy to open and they have a moisture-proof design that further improves safety. AUVON’s iMedassist pill organizer is a great value for the money, usually, you can get it for only a few bucks.
Check the current price on Amazon here.
Sukuos AM PM Weekly Pill Organizer
The compartments are pretty spacious: they can hold approximately 8 large fish oil pills or 12 standard-sized multi-vitamins. Each one has a large button that makes it easy for seniors to open the compartments by simply pushing them. This pill organizer is also pretty cheap, so it can be a great option for price-sensitive seniors.
Get it on Amazon here.
Best Monthly Pill Organizers for Seniors
Mediz 28-Day Pill Organizer
Some seniors prefer to fill their pill organizer once a month. For them, the Mediz monthly pill organizer can be an excellent choice. It’s also a good option if you’re the one who fills the pill dispenser for your elderly loved one and you can’t visit them every week.
While the individual compartments are not as large as those of a weekly pill organizer, they have enough space to store 5 fish oil pills (or 33 small pills like vitamin D) in them.
Check out the current price here.
31-Day Pill Organizer by Promed
If you prefer simplicity, I recommend you check out this 4-week organizer. It has numbered compartments (from 1 to 31) plus one storage compartment, all made of BPA-free plastic.
The whole organizer consists of 8 groups of 4 compartments that are detachable from the organizer and can be used separately when needed. Some seniors might find it difficult to open the compartments, so for the elderly with arthritis, I’d recommend the previously mentioned Mediz 28-day pill organizer.
One major disadvantage of most monthly pill organizers is that they only have one large compartment for each day, so they won’t have individual sections for times of the day. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned ones are no exception.
If this is a deal-breaker for you, check out this a.m./p.m. monthly organizer. It has two compartments for each day, however, they’re quite small and can be difficult to handle for some seniors, so they’re definitely not the best choice for the elderly with arthritis.
FYI – Seniors, especially when they take certain types of medication, often fall out of bed. Here we collected everything you need to know to prevent your elderly loved one from rolling off the bed.
Best Pill Organizer with Alarm Reminder
MedCenter 31-Day Pill Organizer with Reminder System
The MedCenter pill organizer lets seniors set up to four daily alarms, so they will never miss their medication again. The compartments are larger than average and the organizer has four of them (morning, noon, evening, night) for each day of the month.
You can choose to set a beeping voice or a voice alarm as well. The latter option can be especially useful if your elderly loved one suffers from mild dementia because the voice makes it clearer what they should do than a simple beep (for instance, the voice says “please take your evening pills for the 15th”).
The alarm will sound repeatedly until the red ‘Alarm Acknowledged’ button is pressed. The large digital display shows both the date and the time so seniors can easily match the number on the box, the date on the display, and the audible alarm message.
It’s a big plus that you can set the loudness of the device (there’s an extra loud option). This feature can be extremely helpful for seniors with some degree of hearing loss. The green and red color codes make it very easy to distinguish the empty boxes from the full ones.
While it’s true that the MedCenter pill organizer costs more than a simple pillbox, the alarm functions can prevent seniors suffering from forgetfulness from missing their medication that can significantly improve their quality of life.
Check out the current price on Amazon here.
Tip: Seniors can benefit a lot from a medical alert watch. Click here to check out our comparison on the best models.
Best Medication Reminder App
Many seniors enjoy using smartphones. For them, using a dedicated medication reminder app is often a better experience than using traditional alarms. A reliable app can make their life so much easier and it usually doesn’t cost a penny.
There are plenty of medication reminders for both iOS and Android, however, not all of them are equally user-friendly, which is an important feature for most seniors.
Medisafe’s medication reminder app is one of the most reliable solutions out there. It’s easy to use, has a clean interface, and has many useful functions, like refill reminders and drug interaction warnings.
Adding a medication is simple and straightforward and the autofill feature makes the process really fast and easy. In the settings menu, you can also change the home screen style: timeline view is the default but many seniors I know prefer the square pillbox view.
One of the most useful features of Medisafe’s app is that it can connect seniors to their caregivers or family members who get real-time alerts about missed medications.
Although there’s a premium version of the app, I think for most users the free version is totally enough. I encourage you to give it a try not only because it’s free but also because it can really improve everyone’s quality of life who takes pills regularly. And this is especially true for seniors.
You can download the app here.
Best Pill Organizer for the Elderly with Arthritic Hands
7-Day AM PM Pill Organizer by Pillsteer
Handling small objects can be difficult for many elderly persons. Traditional pill containers can cause a lot of annoyance for those suffering from arthritis or similar diseases. This is when a pill organizer with a push-button design comes in handy.
Seniors with arthritic hands can benefit a lot from easy-to-open pillboxes. The pill organizer by Pillsteer has two compartments for each day of the week (a.m. and p.m). You can simply open a compartment by pushing the corresponding button and the lid of the compartment will pop open.
The pill organizer is made of BPA-free plastic and its rows are detachable. This can be a useful feature if you go on a trip or need only one box a day. The compartments are quite spacious. They can hold 8 fish oil pills or 25 small tablets.
Get it on Amazon here.
The vast majority of seniors who take pills regularly will definitely benefit from a user-friendly pill organizer. When buying, always choose according to your elderly loved one’s mental and physical condition. In the case of forgetfulness (or mild cognitive impairment), you should opt for a pill organizer with a reminder system.
A medication reminder app can be a great (and free) solution for those seniors who like to move with the times and are not afraid of using modern technology in their everyday life.
There’s a large selection of pill organizers on the market and you can easily find one even if you’re on a budget. However, all that glitters is not gold. Stay away from poor-quality organizers that are made of weak plastic and can easily break while opening or closing. Also, make sure to read other users’ experiences to avoid common pitfalls.