Dr. Jon Segal discusses Caregiver Stress at the Balancing Act
Are you a caregiver caring for an aging parent, a relative, or maybe a loved one? If you are, you are certainly not alone. In fact, four out of every ten adults care for parents or relatives seniors suffering from chronic illnesses including heart related diseases and the many issues of old age itself.
This interview took place in the second of a four part series on Caregiving in the tv show, The Balancing Act. Dr. Jon Segal answered important questions with valuable information targeted to help and support caregivers in such a difficult yet rewarding job.
Olga Villaverde: Back in the studio as we observe American Heart Month, is doctor Jon Segal, CEO of Discount Medical Supplies. Welcome back Doctor!
Dr. Jon Segal: Thank you very much for having us back.
Olga Villaverde: And I'm really glad for having you back because in our first segment we learned so much about the caregiver and the patient and so much information that we need to know about. This month is American Heart Month. Tell me how the caregiver today can help the patients that are suffering from heart heart diseases, congestive heart failure, we could go on and on and name the list.
Dr. Jon Segal: Well it is tough for the caregiver themselves because obviously they have to abide number one. Number two help them with their diet, their nutrition. Number three I would definitely say exercise. Helping to get that person out of the house into the sunlight. I think it's extremely important as we forget about that. And number 4 laughter! I think the caregiver never laughs, never really takes care of [himself or herself] as a person so it's very difficult because they forget about themselves when it's so challenging with a family member.
Olga Villaverde: So what are things that one can do when you are a caregiver, not just financial, but what other supports can they look for in that time of need?
Dr. Jon Segal: Well there's a lot of support groups out there. You can go to your VA hospital, you can go look for an Ombudsman in your area. Also the areas on aging are fantastic centers to get you, especially a main portal to the area and all the support that's out there. But I think people again forget is, they forget about family and friends to help them through the situations because friends can actually be the biggest support or they can come and take that family member out for lunch, take them outside and give you a little bit of a rest period as well.
Olga Villaverde: Now, there is other support and that is something that I want you to share with our viewers. You created an online store aimed at helping caregivers. Tell me exactly what it is and how it helps them because I think it is so valuable for them to hear.
Dr. Jon Segal: Yes, we created Discount Medical Supplies.com because of us. We were caregiver and we wanted to give back to everybody. So when they walk into a store or when they go online to buy their medical supplies we did not want it be over burdening to them, we did not want them to be scared or frightful so we walk them through the process. Whether it's an online chat or talking to one of our representatives, we guide them into the right products that are best for them and not the more expensive product.
Olga Villaverde: So someone is there actually live talking to them and saying "hey, this is what we can walk you through and help you out?"
Dr. Jon Segal: Yes, we are actually there from 9am to 12 pm midnight Monday through Thursday and throughout the weekend as well so we can get there when they need us. We walk them through, what is the right size, how much do you weigh, what are you looking for, what are you daily activities and then we choose the right size and the right fit from them. And this is very different from just guessing among thousands of different products.
Olga Villaverde: And if they don't have maybe a list of things that they need from A to Z your people can also help them and say "hey, we also recommend this" ?
Dr. Jon Segal: Yes, we will help them by their condition so if they have diabetes or heart disease, whatever it may be we will walk them through and give them the top selling products that are basically needed for them and what's recommended based on their situation.
Olga Villaverde: Can you name some of those products that usually are really the ones that are the go-to?
Dr. Jon Segal: Incontinence. Unfortunately diapers are probably our number 1 product. Wound Care, Walkers, Rollators, and this month especially Blood Pressure Monitors and Blood Pressure Cuffs.
Olga Villaverde: So doctor, after someone is guided through the website and they get the stuff they need for their patient or their loved one, is that then brought to their home?
Dr. Jon Segal: It is. We ship directly to their doorstep so they do not have to be embarrassed what's coming in the package. We think that is very important for them and really their self esteem.
Olga Villaverde: And I could only imagine how much easier it is for the caregiver not having to go ge something rather than spending time with the loved one there.
Dr. Jon Segal: We like to partner with them. So we are your partner, we are your friends and we are going to help you, we are not trying to sell you something. We want to help you through the situation because a lot of times you don't have a person to talk to and we will be there to talk with you as well.
Olga Villaverde: It sounds like you are an advocate which is wonderful
Dr. Jon Segal: Yes I am.
Olga Villaverde: Thank you so much!
Dr. Jon Segal: Thank you very much.
Olga Villaverde: We'll see you next time again for part 3?
Dr. Jon Segal: I look forward to it.
Olga Villaverde: I look forward to it too. Thank you Doctor. We are going to continue with this subject in a future show. In the mean time if you like to learn more including more about American Heart month, visit us at thebalancingact.com or log on to Facebook forward slash the balancing act fans. Share with us your own caregiving thoughts and opinions, we'd love to hear from you.