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on February 7, 2010
I purchased this for my mom with short term memory loss who often could not remember if she took her pills. She lives alone and it was very worrisome for me. This pill dispenser is very sophisticated with lots of options which also makes it complicated to set up. No way an elderly person could do it themselves in my opinion. But after I set it up it totally resolved our problem! There is no way she can take pills twice which is the most dangerous situation plus I can tell if she skips a dose (she hasn't). Any alarms set up shut off as soon as you tip the pills out. Anyway, we love it and it is well worth the cost in peace of mind. My only caution is that each pill section is not very big. In my mom's case her pills are not large so there is plenty of room, but if taking large pills like vitamins and antibiotics there could be an issue getting them all in. I suppose you could use two sections and have them open at different times of the day to resolve the problem. Anyway, now that we have this we could not live without it!
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VINE VOICEon January 25, 2010
This gadget has been a Godsend! I help someone who has to take quite a few vital medications, in a complicated, four-times-a-day regimen. Even with the basic, non-mechanized pill organizers, it was a nightmare trying to help her remember her pill times and getting her to take the right pills at the right time without getting mixed up and either missing a dosage or taking them too close together and thus dangerously doubling dosages.

I know I sound like some TV pitchman when I say that I was skeptical about this device at first, because there are competing pill dispenser devices at four, five and even ten times the price of this that seem to do pretty much the same thing. I figured there must be some catch, or trade-off or some vital feature that this less expensive device didn't have. But I bought one anyway and lo and behold, for my non-commercial, private home application, it works great! I load it up once per week, and I'm done!

The set-up instructions could be clearer, but I followed them carefully and got it done in about 15 minutes or less, and there will be no reason to have to ever re-set it unless the doctor changes the regimen times, which is not likely. That it is battery powered is also good. The electricity shut off during a couple storms recently but this dispenser went right ahead and did what was needed, alerting and dispensing, one less thing, a very important thing, that I didn't have to worry about with the lights off.

I can't tell you how much this humble device has made life easier, less frustrating--and SAFER-- for myself and my friend. It does exactly what they say it does. I love it and highly recommend it.

(My gosh, I sure DO sound like some wild-eyed TV pitchman, but I guess it is that good ol' fashioned enthusiasm for this product that compelled me to bother to write this review, knowing that if it helps others like it helped me, the world will be a happier place. Classic win-win.)
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on May 9, 2010
This product solved the did-I-take-my-pills-today problem for a close relative of mine, for whom I bought it. It is surprising how many doctors prescribing medicine for Alzheimer's don't think to address the obvious compliance problem of having someone with impaired memory try to remember when to take their pills. This is the way to do it. Now I just load up the dispenser about once a week, and it rings when it's time to take the pills. It's changed helter-skelter compliance to correct compliance, and that has made a huge difference for the better.

The only real negative to report is that initial setup should probably be handled by someone fairly adept at figuring out new gadgets despite bad documentation. I nearly physically broke the device when the introductory documentation started off telling me to press a latch and open the lid. They had shipped it in a "locked" state, and the documentation doesn't mention how the lock/unlock mechanism works until much later on. One other thing that was poorly documented in the sales literature concerned the maximum number of days it can be pre-loaded for. It's good for 7 days if meds are dispensed four times a day, 14 days if meds are twice a day, and 28 days if they're once a day. (Three times a day is also possible, but slightly trickier to maintain than the other modes.)
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on November 2, 2010
The pill dispenser works as advertised. However, the supplied templates account for 4 per day, 3 per day, and 1 per day dosages...there was no two per day dosage templates, so I had to jury-rig the back side of a template and write in a two per day schedule. Also, I programmed for two dosages per day by letting the last two clock alarm settings continue to be dashes, I suspect that if I do go to 3 or 4 doses a day and I want to return later to a two dose per day schedule, I will have to remove the batteries, and let the dispenser reset before having to completely re-program the dispenser...a real pain. Otherwise, perhaps I can set redundant alarm times to account for the less-than-four dosages per day schedule--but this is not mentioned in the instructions.
Lastly, the pill trays are sort of narrow, and thus tipping over the unit to dispense the pills (and also reset/silence the alarm) may not completely empty the tray. One has to stick one's finger into the tray and "scoop" out any pills that are sticking in the tray--this can be a slight problem if one has thick fingers. I use my pinky to scrape out the pills.
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on May 13, 2010
Since I'm taking meds four times a day I bought this product and have found it to be quite useful at keeping me on track. However, after using it for a few weeks it seemed to suddenly become 'Frankendispenser' and turn to a random slot, the alarm would go off randomly, and finally I'd get an ERR message. Several times I would reset it by removing the batteries briefly, but the little bugger would go insane again in a day or two.

Finally, I pulled the batteries all out for a day to let the memory clear. Boy did I miss it that day. Upon setting my alarms back up after re-installing the batteries I ran across a line in the manual that said to not leave the device in direct sunlight or strong ultraviolet as it may cause a malfunction. I thought about where I had placed the device, on a kitchen counter, and realized that every light fixture in my home is equipped with the new twisty fluorescent bulbs...emitters of ultraviolet light. Especially the kitchen light is often left on all day. I'm reasonably sure that was the cause of the malfunction though for the life of me I'm not sure why the device would be affected by UV, as it appears to be a simple IC that times a gear turning a short way based upon the LCD clock. In any event, I believe I've fixed the issue by moving the device so that it's 'shaded' from any light fixture. If anyone has a similar problem you might try this solution.

I do like the device and heartily recommend it to anyone on any kind of complex drug usage.
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on November 29, 2010
We purchased this for our father who has dementia/early alzheimers. We were previously using the Mon-Fri. morning and evening pill organizer, but we found he wasn't taking them when he was supposed to, or he took too many as he didn't know what day it was. He still lives independently in his own home. So it took a little getting used to for him, but now he knows when he hears the alarm go off, that it's time to take his pills. He only takes pills in the morning and bed time, so we can fill it for two weeks at a time. I think at first he wasn't sure how to stop the alarm and would bang on it, so I printed out labels in large font on the cover on what to do (WHEN ALARM SOUNDS, FLIP OVER DISPENSER POURING PILLS INTO YOUR HAND, THEN PLACE UNIT BACK ON COUNTER, TAKE YOUR PILLS!...) He seems to have it down now. I just wish the lcd display showed through the cover so you could easily check to see if the battery was getting low. I also ordered another key (company sent it to me free of charge), so that both my sister and I both have a key to fill it/monitor it for him. I would HIGHLY recommend this product!!
11 comment19 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2011
My 86 yr old Mother figured out how to open this pill dispenser on her own after one day. Anyone can open it with their fingernails.
11 comment10 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 5, 2011
It's not an exagerration to say that this pill dispenser is changing my life. I'm a caregivier for a beloved relative who lives alone and 600 miles away. She suffers from moderate dementia and the after effects of a stroke. We tried many things, including pill boxs marked with days of the week. These were ineffective, as she struggled to interpret the letters on the top (Is "T" a Tuesday or a Thursday?} and often took pills in advance or out of sequence. Diffficulties in opening the small lids caused the pills to be spilled on occasion. A few times, such problems required me to drive several hundred miles to get the pills back in order.

This pill box solved all that for us. On a daily basis, the pill box rings and flashes and the correct pills are dispensed. A phone call lets me remind her how to turn off the chime - just tip the box - and to take her pills. The locking mechanism is wonderful, as it protects the pills from helpful visitors and from her own fidgeting.

I've made a couple of additions that help her use the box effectively. First, because it can be difficult to get small pills out of the dispenser, I've placed the pill box on top of a large red tray. This way, she can gently tip out her pills into the tray, reducing the risk of leaving a pill in the box. Second, I put a large brightly colored sign on the bottom of the pill box, stating "if you can see this, the box is upside down." That way, when I call, I can ask if there is a green label on her pill box. If she says no, all is well. A yes means that I should ask her to turn it over.

The only reason that this pill box is rated 4 stars instead of 5 is the difficulty in programming the box initially. No one should forego the pill box because of this difficulty, but users should be aware that it is complicated and time-comsuming. If your digital clocks often blink midnight for days after a power outage, you may wish to get help with the initial programming.
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on May 25, 2013
My 89-year old mother was getting confused on what day it was and whether it was morning or night. I found out that every time she woke up from her afternoon nap, she thought that it was the morning of the next day and she would re-take all of her medication. Basically, she was taking twice the amount of meds that she should have daily.

She lives in an Independent/Assisted Living facility and it would cost her $1000 extra per month to have someone at the facility dispense her meds. The Med-E-Lert is the perfect solution. In fact, the other day she called and told me that the pill dispenser wasn’t working correctly because it showed that it was Thursday and she knew that it was Friday morning and time for her to take her pills. I told her that the dispenser was correct and that it was Thursday night and she had already taken her medication that morning.

This unit can be purchased in a clear or solid cover. The solid is perfect for my mom, because viewing all the pills at once would be very overwhelming to her. The alarm can be silenced; however, I wish the alarm light would illuminate and flash even if the alarm sound was turned off.
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on July 11, 2010
Med-e-lert Automatic Pill Dispenser; the first one broke within a month, the replacement broke within a few weeks. The device is too unreliable to be used by anyone who is dealing with a forgetful elderly parent.
11 comment14 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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