With ever-advancing medication organization and storage, weekly pill organizers and day of the week pill cases are becoming outdated.
As a senior, tasks such as reading fine print, remembering to take medication, or even opening childproof twist top prescription medications and 7-day pill organizer snap boxes can become difficult.
It’s important to find a pill organizer that fits your needs, and your limitations. While classic pill boxes once served us well, technology has advanced to offer better solutions.
Traditional Pill Organizers
Pill organizers have been around for a long time. While technology and a deeper understanding of need have allowed great leaps in development, many organizers remain simple and crude in nature.
These straightforward organizers are simple, and somewhat effective. These are long, thin plastic boxes with 7 small compartments where daily medication can be stored and organized. These containers are great as travel pill organizers or other needs for portability, though they do have some limitations:
- These containers are first limited by the size of each section, compared to the size of your medication. For many users experiencing polypharmacy, these containers are simply too small for larger pills, even with "large compartment" pill containers.
- While these organizers snapped shut to avoid spilling, they can become extremely difficult to open. Ironically, the plastic snap style lids are known to eventually wear out, and begin not closing over time.
- Many medications are often taken at multiple times throughout the day, but these seven-day organizers are designed for once a day use, sometimes twice a day (but then again, large pills become a problem as the compartments are split into AM and PM sections). While you could have multiple organizers, it would become essential to have to stay organized and use some other reminder system to track your schedule like your phone's alarm clock.
- 7-day organizers require you to refill them every single week, as well as track your schedules and adherence. While it helps you take the right medication on at least a daily basis, this only works if you sort the medication properly yourself when you first load it in. Moreover, you still need to set your own reminders -- or simply use your memory -- to remember when it’s time for a dose.
Portable Pill Canisters
Pill canisters offer certain benefits for people on the go. You can easily attach this type of container to your keychain to keep it with you wherever you go. This allows you to carry a medication on your person, without taking your bottles or other medications outside of the house.
The idea is that you wouldn’t lose your keys, so attaching these to your keys can help you from losing your pills. These containers are small, and easy to carry.
While this compact single use size can be seen as a benefit, many view this size as a negative since they are only able to carry a few doses, or very few medication types. Since these canisters are expected to be banged around on your keys, they are very tightly sealed and may also be difficult to open. Users must also keep track of their own medication schedules and keep their own record of medication adherence.
The Pill Wallet
When travel is a must, but you need to take multiple medications throughout the day, pill wallets become a great concealed and portable option. These fabric options generally open to 5 to 7 small boxes holding each day's medication, often having individual slots for different times of the day.
Very similar to a pill box, these organizers are limited by the small size of each compartment, and the need for someone to fill the box once a week. These organizers are a good option for traveling, but may become difficult to open, and users will again need a way to track their schedule and keep records of medication adherence.
Pill Organizers with Alarms
Many different styles of organizers have begun adding built in alarms to help users track their medication schedules. These alarms are primarily found on pill boxes, creating a good option for on-the-go use. Users can expect the same limitations associated with using a pill box, including size limitations and the need for constant user refills.
While the alarms are helpful, they are often small and simplistic with a few beeps that do not require to be "turned off" to stop. With complex schedules often found with polypharmacy, these simple alarms may also not be enough due to limits on how many alarms can be put in place.
Beyond Pill Organizing: All-Access Medication Management
Organizing medication management in the home creates the potential for larger, more incorporated monthly pill organizers and medication dispensers that take some of the worry and human error out of your organization needs for greater peace of mind.
Automatic pill dispensers bring technologically advanced dispensers to your home, providing you with a more reliable method of managing your medication.
When it comes to high-tech med management in the home, Hero is the ultimate solution.
Hero provides an automated dispenser to protect and organize your medication, with the benefits of a connected mobile application to send medication reminders to patients and family members alike as needed, on top of actually tracking medication adherence and providing personalized reports to share with providers.
The Hero dispenser can support pills or any shape or size. As long as it isn’t dissolvable, gummy or powdery, you can load up to 90 days' worth of 10 different pills into your automatic dispenser. When it’s time to take your medication, automatic dispensers will prepare everything and notify you with a pleasant chime and a gentle flashing light.
After the notification, use the large push button on the dispenser to dispense your pills, and they will drop into an easy to grab, largemouth cup.
Is it possible you won’t be near your dispenser? No worries -- join users who are able to take their lives back, as the Hero App notifies you that it’s time to take your medication, no matter where you are. Hero's Future Dose feature allows you to dispense the pills you'll need ahead of time. The app will still remind you to take your meds and track your adherence while out of the house, so you'll be sure to stick to your schedule!
Hero Mobile App
With a need for organization, information, and medication tracking both within your home and on the go, the Hero app is designed as an easy to use mobile application that fits in your pocket.
Not only will the Hero App notify you when to take your medication, it will track if you have taken your medication on time, late, or missed your dose all together. If you do miss your dose, Hero will call or otherwise notify you, your caregiver, or your loved ones and inform them that your pills were never dispensed.
The app will also keep a detailed record of every time medication was missed and taken, so your healthcare provider can easily track your medication adherence and better analyze how well your prescriptions are working for you.
If you need your medication on the go, or during your travels, the Hero dispenser can dispense all of your medication in advance, and the app can still remind you as you're out when it's time for a dose., Your app will track and record your medication use to ensure you stay on schedule.
Keeping your medication organized is one of the keys to reducing human error. Every time a human input is needed, such as filling an organizer, or recording when medication was taken, there is a risk of mistakes .
Hero’s dispenser and med management platform can become a useful tool not only in your home, but also in assisted living or nursing home facilities.
Reducing the need for someone else to present their medication, seniors can take back their lives and gain more independence with Hero.