Pill bottles. We’ve all got a drawer or cabinet full of them. From the meds we take daily to the ones we take once in a blue moon, they add up. And storing and keeping track of the variety of pill bottles can be overwhelming.
So let’s talk strategies for decluttering pill containers.
Before you buy anything to organize your pills, gather up everything you take: supplements, vitamins, and prescriptions. Lay one of each pill out on a table so you can see what you’re working with. You’re probably looking at a lot of pills of various sizes and shapes. Maybe some of them are hard to tell apart. That’s common, but still a challenge when you’re considering the pill organizer that’s right for you.
Next, if you don’t already have it, write down your schedule for taking each medication. 2 pills of this every morning, one of these every night, this one only when you need it. If you’re using lined paper, it might help to make it into a chart:
Number of pills/ dosage
Times of day
Days of the week
2 - 500mg pills
blood pressure pill
acid reflux pill
Once you’ve taken stock of your medications and supplements and determined what you need to take, when, you can start looking at organizers. You’ll find a variety, both online and at your local pharmacy. But if you did the planning, figuring out which you need will be easy.
Automatic Pill Dispensers
Pill boxes are everywhere. They come in lots of shapes and colors, vary in price from just a few dollars to around $100, but all work pretty much the same:
Sort out all your prescriptions, vitamins and supplements by hand.
Fill each container for time of day and day of the week.
Keep track of what pills are running low when you take doses.
When a pill container is empty, you refill it.
You’ll find a variety of automatic pill dispensers online that fulfill a spectrum of needs. To narrow down options, search by your priorities:
You hand-sort meds as you load vs. a machine that auto-sorts them
Portable vs. stationary
Audible and/or visible reminders
Additional security measures like a key or PIN code
A companion app, or compatibility with an existing app, to provide reminders
The option to auto-refill prescriptions through the device provider
The ability to monitor doses you or a loved one takes to ensure accountability and safety
These kinds of medicine organizers are convenient for travel, but they do require a lot of work sorting out dosages by time and day. Some are difficult to open, whether you have arthritis or not. More expensive versions come with safety latches and keys to keep medications safe. These versions may also blink or chirp as reminders that it’s time to take certain pills.
If you said yes to two or more of those priorities, your options are to purchase a machine for several hundred to over a thousand dollars (with limited support), or get a $29.99 monthly subscription (plus $99 initiation fee) to Hero, which includes 24/7 support and frequent software updates.
The Bottom Line
Pill boxes are convenient for on-the go needs, but you should consider several factors to decide if a pill box is enough for you.
Hand-sorting pills takes a lot of time. And most pill organizers need to be refilled weekly.
If you have arthritis, you may have trouble opening the individual pill containers.
If dementia is a factor, look for one with extra safety features like a locking lid or other tampering deterrents.
With Hero, you don’t have to spend time sorting out all your medications weekly. It holds up to a 90-day supply of up to 10 different medications.
Hero auto-sorts and auto-dispenses the right meds at the right time.
You can set an optional PIN to keep prescriptions safe.
If you miss a dose, the app can notify you and someone you’ve chosen to help you stay on track.
There’s even the option to get your prescription refills delivered to your door with Hero Fill.
Most importantly, there’s little to no accountability. If you forget or neglect to take your meds entirely, accidentally take an extra pill that could be harmful, or you need to take something at an exact time every day, a portable pill case is not enough assurance of getting everything right.
But the best feature is the peace of mind. With Hero, you and your loved ones can be notified when it is time to take your meds, or if you skip or miss a dose. Hero helps you keep track of medication adherence to keep you healthier.
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The contents of the above article are for informational and educational purposes only. The article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified clinician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or its treatment and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of information published by us. Hero is indicated for medication dispensing for general use and not for patients with any specific disease or condition. Any reference to specific conditions are for informational purposes only and are not indications for use of the device.