No More Missed Pills

Last updated: February 09, 2011
Medicine Series

Whether or not a loved one has taken the appropriate medications at the appropriate times is a common concern. Managing a medication regime can be a complex task, especially for long-distance caregivers. Thankfully, there are lots of great tech tools available today to help you and your loved ones stay on top of medication management:

Medication Schedules and Reminders is a free service that allows you to create easy-to-read medication schedules and set up daily text or e-mail reminders. The site makes it easy to print out large text or wallet size daily schedules as well as weekly and monthly checklists. Click here to watch a quick demo of the MyMedSchedule offering.

Medical Alarm Watches

Medical Alarm watches are another great tool for medication management. For example, the Cadex e-Pill 12 Alarm Medication Reminder Watch provides up to 12 daily alarms, which beep and display a visual message at scheduled times throughout the day. The alarms are easy to set up, and the watch has large text/numbers for easy readability. This watch also serves as an electronic Medical Alert/ID bracelet. Click here to watch a brief video about the Cadex e-Pill watch.

For those looking for a more comprehensive solution, the Cadex watch can be purchased as part of a larger compliance kit, which includes the 12 alarm watch, large capacity daily pillboxes, emergency pill packs, refrigerator reminder magnet, reminder stickers, and a medication chart.

If your loved one has trouble hearing or simply prefers a more subtle reminder, E-Pill also makes vibrating reminder watches.

Pill Bottle Reminders

Vitality GlowCaps are attached to individual prescription pill bottles and use light and sound to signal when it's time to take a pill. GlowCaps sense whether a bottle has been opened or not and sends status information to Vitality's secure network. If a bottle hasn't been opened two hours after a scheduled dose, the user receives an automated reminder telephone call. The service also sends weekly and monthly compliance reports to the GlowCap user, appointed caregiver, and/or doctor. Click here to watch a short video about GlowCaps.

We want to hear from you. Please share any other medication management tech tools or techniques that have worked for you in the comments section below.

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8 Comments So Far. Add Your Wisdom.

about 2 years ago

I've got 4 pills I *must* take in the morning, and 5 I have to take at bedtime, but most of my other medication is "as needed". I use 3 separate 4-week pill boxes: One holds my "before-I-really-wake-up pills". One holds my "nighttime pills". One holds all the other prescriptions I use during the day. Doing it this way, I stay on the same day (1st row, Monday) for 28 days without refills, and help me keep the date right, it also keeps me from mixing up my painkillers with my Ritalin or my birth control pills.

over 2 years ago

This article may just be a life-saver for my parents! I am going to purchase and program a vibrating reminder watch for each of them! Thank you so much for sharing this! <a href="">lower blood pressure</a>

over 2 years ago

I love the idea of alarm pillboxes. I take quite a few prescriptions myself, as I have SJogren's, RA, and Lupus. I also keep 4 grandchildren and a hubby in early stages of Alzheimers. I am usually like a spinning top, and while getting everyone else fed, dressed, bathed, noses wiped, homework done, driving to and from school, lessons, etc., I forget my meds OFTEN, as in everyday. Sometimes I just take them all before I go to bed to ensure I get them all down! But ideally I am to space them. If I had a BELL, maybe I would take them on time. Of course, that involves remembering to SET the alarm! LOL! Thank you for all the good ideas and tips I find here!

over 3 years ago

Good to see Laurie's post; I was going to recommend her blog. Also you should consider how this product and other technology fit into the overall care program. I wrote a white paper on this topic posted at

over 3 years ago

I use a week med container (with 4 spots per day) Mom & I only take meds twice a day, so I use the AM for our morning pills (mine are non-presc), and the noon spot for our PM pills. That way I can use the afternoon spot for the AM pills of the following week (same day) and the evening spot for the 2nd week evening pills. Only have to fill it every 2 weeks, and keep it in the kitchen near where I prepare mills. Taking my pills at the same time helps mom to realize what to do with hers.She is in early stage severe Alzheimers.

over 3 years ago

I use a 2 week dispenser case. Mom & I only take meds in the am and pm, so i put both our pils for the am in that case and the pm for the same day in the noon spot. then in the evening spot are the am pills for the next week on that day - etc., thus i get 2 weeks ready at the same time. My meeds are non-prescription, so easy to distinguish- and it helps mom to take hers if she sees me taking mine.

over 3 years ago

One very simple way of helping your elder with medication management (but which, again, is not useful for advanced stages of dementia) is to have the pharmacist place the medications in pill packs. These are punch out cards (akin to the way Prilosec is packaged) that can be divided into specific times (8-4-12-8) or into morning, afternoon, evening. That way, if a med is still in it's packaged spot, the elder will know that they haven't taken it yet.

over 3 years ago

These products, while all helpful and not good to use for people with dementia beyond the early stages. For those people the Medready Medication dispenser is highly recommended.

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