Above: Dr. Brandon Bayles, PT, DPT, Dr. Samuel Adrignola, PT, DPT
by Jessica McElroy
Gateway Hospice Providers offers in-home hospice care to patients who are no longer seeking curative care and have a terminal illness. It is their mission to increase the quality of life for each patient by offering dignified and compassionate physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care to each patient and their family. Gateway Hospice has been serving our local area since June of 2020. The company was started by Dr. Brandon Bayles, PT, DPT and Dr. Sam Adrignola, PT, DPT, who are also co-owners of No Limit Staffing Services. As Physical Therapists and co-owners of a healthcare staffing agency, Dr. Bayles and Dr. Adrignola have occasionally provided therapy services to hospice patients over the years. Through this work they began to see that there was often a disconnect between hospice companies and therapy services. In the hope of addressing that gap and being able to offer more to those who are seeking end of life care, Gateway Hospice Providers was born.
When someone is opening their last chapter of life, it’s important for families to be aware of everything that hospice care can offer their loved one. It’s natural and understandable that one would wait to seek end of life care for a family member until they had exhausted all other possible options, which could include home health or palliative care. There are times, however, when that choice becomes necessary, and switching from home health or palliative services to hospice care can give the patient and family access to more resources and a higher quality of life. Gateway Hospice provides those services in-home, so that patients and their families do not feel stuck having to choose between home health and hospice based on access to the services. Transitioning to hospice care can be difficult and stressful on everyone involved, which is why it is so important to entrust the care of your loved one with the right people who can help navigate through this difficult time.
One of the most valuable services Gateway Hospice offers is the 24/7 on-call support for patients and their families, so you never have to worry should you need help after-hours. Some of their other services include nursing, aid services, chaplain services, medical social work services, and physical therapy services when they are appropriate. Therapy services are typically used as restorative care, but in the world of hospice they can be very useful for pain management, to help maintain one’s range of motion, or to assist with activities of daily living. Dr. Bayles shared: “It is true that physical therapy isn’t appropriate for all hospice patients, but for the percentage of patients who it can be beneficial to, they should have that available to them. There are a lot of great hospice companies out there, but not all of them have the resources to offer regular therapy services to their patients. We wanted to bridge that gap.”
To determine hospice eligibility and whether Gateway Hospice will be a good fit for your family, a physician order is needed from your primary care provider or directly from the hospital for a hospice evaluation. Gateway will send a nurse or a nurse practitioner to the home to conduct an evaluation and determine if their services are appropriate. Once admitted to Gateway Hospice services, they would provide equipment, medical supplies, and medications related to the hospice diagnosis. Some of the medical equipment that may be provided includes hospital beds, mattresses, oxygen, and more. Along with regular nursing visits, an aid will visit each patient in-home 3-5 times per week to help with general personal care such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. Chaplain services are available should the patient or their family require help with any spiritual needs during this time, and a social worker can assist with resources or to forge connections that might help any decisions or arrangements that need to be made just a little bit easier. They also have the ability to connect patients with Meals-on-Wheels or other similar resources should that be necessary. If the patient is appropriate and can benefit from therapy, those services are available as well.
Each member of Gateway Hospice Providers works to live out their company motto “Where your loved ones are loved.” When providing such intimate care, they understand the importance of the relationship, and they want each family to know that they are doing everything in their power to improve their loved one’s quality of life at the end of their life. With the intention of reminding families how thankful they are to have been trusted with such a delicate time in their lives, last month they sent out special remembrance ornaments to the families of patients who utilized their services last year. “We do remember them. They become a part of the Gateway Family and they are still important to us, so we want to honor them during this Holiday Season.”
Dr. Bayles and Dr. Adrignola both earned their Doctorate in Physical Therapy from UNT Health Science Center in 2016. Although primarily serving in leadership roles within their two companies, they never forget why they started and still take the time to fulfill their passion of helping as many people as possible and meet with their patients regularly. “We aren’t a large operation, and our patients aren’t just a number in our system. Yes, we are the owners, but we are still in it. We see patients. We build relationships with these people and with their families and we don’t leave their side until they are at peace about their care with us. It has to be a relationship built on trust.”
A full breakdown of the services offered by Gateway Hospice Providers can be found on their website at gateway-hospice.com.
If you are ready to see if Gateway Hospice would be a good fit for your family, they can be reached by email at Admin@gateway-hospice.com or by phone at (682) 499-6669.