Best Automatic Pill Dispensers for the Elderly

Author: Mark Marsden | Updated on March 19, 2020
If you have a loving other that needs to take prescribed pills at certain points throughout the day, an automatic pill dispenser timer is the way forward.
Person Opening Thursday Pills Box Container
In our busy lives, it’s a relief to know our loved ones can use an automated, time locked medicine dispenser with lock. You just fill it according to the prescribed dosages, lock it up, and resume your daily schedule knowing the patient will take timed, prescribed medications and not overdose.

How to Choose the Correct One for Your Needs

Depending on the intended user’s mental state and the kind of visitors that person will have, a good fastener on a dispenser may be important. Capacity is also important for patients who take a lot of pills.

Ascertain whether the dispenser needs to be highly customizable and whether the person programming the desired dispenser would be able to program it.

Determine how loud the user needs the dispenser to be and if the user would prefer to have a voice remind them instead of a beep or buzzer.
What are the Advantages and Benefits?

Dispensers can be an indispensable item for busy caretakers of elderly parents who live alone. People get forgetful when they get older. That means they can forget how many pills they need to take of which kind of medicine. They can forget what time of day to take medication. They can even forget whether or not they have taken the medication on any given day.

An automatic pill dispenser assures the proper dosage of certain prescription pills are taken at the right times. A dispenser with a strong latch will prevent the user and thieving visitors from breaking into it.

LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser

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The LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser lets you, your loved one, or patient/client know by both a loud buzzer and red light when it’s time to take various prescription medications and vitamins.

This dispenser fastens securely with a key, so there’s no chance that the user can get into the dispenser and overdose.

The interface is intuitive, allowing you to easily set the buzzer and other functions.

Choose from among six templates to dispense between one and six doses daily. With a 28-day capacity and compartments that each hold up to 18 aspirin-sized pills, you will only need to fill this large-capacity device approximately one time per month.

This dispenser is great for people who take a lot of pills.
  1. Holds pills for 28 days, preventing constant refilling
  2. Spacious compartments that each hold up to 18 aspirin-sized pills
  3. Highly customizable, offering six templates for 1-6 daily doses
  1. Relies on 4 AA batteries
  2. Customers complain they received a faulty unit which should have been reliable for dispensing life-saving medication for a loved one trying to live independently
  3. Expensive item that customers say cannot be returned for a refund

MedSmart Voice Automated Dispenser

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The e-Pill MedSmart Voice Automatic Pill Dispenser is an excellent choice for those that are blind or hard of sight. It may even be a good choice for people who loathe hearing a buzzer alert.

This dispenser’s alarm alerts using a friendly voice that says, “It’s time for your medications.” The dispenser simultaneously flashes a light. Both alerts function continuously up to a full hour or until the user turns the unit over to retrieve the pills.

The e-Pill MedSmart dispenser has handy textured rubber grips on it to prevent its being dropped. This dispenser comes with two keys, which allows both a primary caregiver and a local backup person (perhaps a neighbor or friend) access to the device.

Customers have reported quality problems regarding this dispenser’s securing fastener, battery life, and cord length.
  1. Alerts using a friendly voice and flashing light instead of using an obnoxious buzzer and light
  2. Has 28 compartments that each hold up to 24 aspirin-sized pills
  3. Highly customizable, offering six templates for 1-6 daily doses for 28 days per refill
  1. Cord is too short to allow user to easily pick up and turn over when plugged in
  2. Pills get stuck in compartments
  3. Inadequate fastening mechanism, batteries that come with it


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This MedCenter alarmed pill organizer is a cross between a traditional daily pill organizer and an alarmed dispenser. Every morning (or previous night), the user lays the day’s pill container on its side beside the alarm.

While on its side, the individual compartments display “morning,” “noon,” “evening,” and “night.” The alert sounds at the four different pre-programmed times.

You can program it to beep or talk, saying the time of day and the date of pills the user should be taking pills for. For example, it might say, “Good morning. Please take your morning pills for the 20th.”

Customers have complained that they could not program the alarm to sound off fewer than four times daily and that the talking feature was way too loud.

Customers stated that the organizer was way too big and that the compartments were too small and too hard to open.
  1. Has four-time daily compartments and alarms for 31 days at a time
  2. Has two alert options: voice and beep
  3. Has large day and date display​
  1. Offputtingly large overall, with pill compartments that are too small
  2. Difficult multi-step programming process
  3. Difficult to open containers

LiveFine Medication Organizer

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A clear removable carousel and six interchangeable dosage rings make the LiveFine Automatic Dispenser quick and easy to refill.

Uniquely, this dispenser has a built-in magnifier that allows for easy reading of prescription dosing information. Using the three buttons beneath the large LED clock, you can program this unit to dispense pills one to six times daily or weekly for up to 28 days.

Customers say the instructions are vague for setting the clock and the alarm volume. This item has a powerful latch and features a manual key to prevent theft by visitors and overdosing and messes by users.

This dispenser’s alerts include a flash of light and a beep every seven seconds for up to 30 minutes. Customers complain that the alarm’s loudest setting is not loud enough. Also, small pills can get stuck in the compartments.
  1. Holds up to 18 pills per compartment; set for up to 28 days
  2. Allows for manual programming of pill schedules
  3. ​Allows programming for weekly or 1-6 daily dosages​
  1. Small pills get stuck on the edge
  2. Vague instructions…must use YouTube to get missing information
  3. Loudest alarm isn’t loud enough

GMS 28 Day Dosage Reminder

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The GMS 28 Day Automatic Pill Dispenser dispenses between one and six doses daily for up to 28 days between refills. Each compartment holds up to 18 aspirin-sized pills. You receive one clear lid and one solid white lid when you order this dispenser.

The white one discourages tampering with the unit. You also receive six dosage rings so that you can choose the right ring for the appropriate dosage amount. The alert is a voice one that says, “Time to take your medication,” which delights users.

This device is said to retain programming while batteries are changed, but customers say otherwise. Customers also state that the catch is weak and can therefore be easily opened by seniors while secured.

Despite the complaints, overall, this dispenser ranks high when compared to other automatic pill dispensers.
  1. Highly customizeable, offering six templates for 1-6 daily doses for 28 days
  2. Spacious compartments that each hold up to 18 aspirin-sized pills
  3. Retains programmed setting when changing batteries
  1. Has weak lock, which allows elderly persons to access all of the pills
  2. Has accessible battery compartment too
  3. Customer says taking the batteries out messes up programming​

How We Picked Our Winner

Automatic pill dispensers make life a little easier for both patients and their caretakers.
Differences between dispensers include features such as pill capacity, ease of programming, ease of use, type of alerts, quality of the fastening mechanism, and how customizable a dispenser is.

There are many good dispensers on the market, and we reviewed five of them for you. A good fastener ranks high in priority. Although #4 has a powerful catch, it has too many customer complaints. Customers rate #5 high, but the fastener seems weak.

We have picked product #1, the LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser, as our top choice.
Bottles Of Tinctures And Antiseptics, Pills, Drops, Gels, Syringes And Other Medications Are On The Shelves. Medical Background For Business, Pharmacy, Industry.

Things to Look for/Attributes that Differentiate These Products

Spacious compartments – It’s important that the dispensers accommodate the number and sizes of prescription medications needed. Extra room can be used to delight the patient with surprise M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, or some other small treat.

Pleasing but effective alerts – Automated medication dispensers alert with lights and either a voice reminding the user that it's medication time, a beep, or some other alarm-type noise. Sound levels differ from dispenser to dispenser, but its loudest level needs to be loud enough that the patient can hear it. And its lowest level needs to not be upsettingly loud for the user.

Intuitive interface – A dispenser should be easy to program and come with easy-to-understand instructions.

Secure access – It is important that the user and their visitors cannot break into the pill dispenser, especially if the patient takes schedule I drugs. Make sure the fastening mechanism is strong.

Highly customizable – The dispenser’s user likely has multiple prescriptions and needs their dispenser to be able to simultaneously handle a variety of dispensing schedules.
Prescription Medicines Weekly Organizer Case

Precautions When Using an Automatic Pill Dispenser

You should determine the mental state of the intended user because many of these dispensers can easily be broken into.

So, if the person is highly confused, you’ll want to make sure that the dispenser you purchase has a highly secure catch on it. If the patient takes schedule I drugs, it is important that the patient’s visitors cannot easily access them. A good fastener is important in those situations too.

You’ll want to make sure that the dispenser meets all of the other requirements needed by the intended user, such as pill capacity in the compartments.

The person who will program the device will need to be assured of the dispenser’s ease of the programming feature and whether the unit is made to be highly customized.
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The Winning Item in this category is...
LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser
LiveFine Automatic