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How reliable are pill reminder systems?

How can I remind my dad to take his medication when I'm not there? Do those elctronic pill minders really work?
Status: Open    Jan 04, 2015 - 11:01 AM

Caregiving, Other

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4 answers


Jan 18, 2015 - 01:44 PM

Limited to my experience with my own meds (Blood Pressure, Parkinson's) the weak link is ME.
I set the alarm on my smart phone for 6 times during the day. I am WAY too likely to acknowledge the
alrm and keep doing what i was doing, and realize 30 minutes later..... Oooooops..... Mom's meds
are a simpler schedule, totally hand managed/administered by us.

This does not strictly address the question...


Jan 18, 2015 - 04:00 PM

We used the Philips Pill Machine successfully for 2 years with my mother. It costs about $85 a month.

If there was a problem, it was usually user error. You load the medication into little cups and put the caps on. If you accidentally put two lids on, then it will jam the machine. My mom had to take medication 3 times a day. And it would hold about 19 days. Their technician will come over and install the machine and show you how to load the machine. It's very easy.

there are several safety features built in. The machine makes a noise and a woman announces that it is time to take your medication. Then you push the button and the medicine comes down. I can't remember how long you have to push the button before it alerts the designated caregivers), maybe 30 minutes. This would give you time to call the person and have them get the medicine out of the machine.

We had 3 contacts on our call list. If it goes thru all contacts and does not reach a person who hits the "1" button to indicate that a live person got the call, then they make a live call. If the medication is not taken within the designated timeframe, it goes into a hold slot in the back of the machine and you would need a key to get it out.

My mother did not have acess to the key due to her Alzheimer's. She is now in assisted living and they give her the pills...which costs $23 a day! Much cheaper and dependable to have the machine.

You also get notifications if the persons electricity goes off...or if there is a jam in the machine.

Jan 18, 2015 - 05:04 PM

The electonic pill depencer will alarm when its time to take medication, drops in a cup to distribute. They are quite costly but it's worth it if your parent is responsable in taking his medication. You have to have a key to get into the depencer so there is not a chance of overdose.

Jan 25, 2015 - 02:15 PM

My mom has used the e-pill alarm for years and it has successfully helped her manage her Parkinson's medication on her own. She has to take pills every 3 hours. She doesn't use the pill organize on the alarm, but her own pill box that holds more pills.


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