A new documentary titled, The Last Chapter, seeks to better educate the public about the choices available for end-of-life care. The documentary was produced by WQED-TV and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, who describe it like this:

The documentary takes the viewer inside the hospitals, homes and lives of palliative and hospice care recipients and providers.

“We are trying to give members of the community personal stories about how various families plan for end of life, and encourage others to not wait until they are in a crisis situation,” said Nancy Zionts, chief program officer for JHF. “Preparation goes a long way to help people reach closure.”

The lives followed are not all senior citizens, but include people living with chronic illnesses, and a mother in her 40s trying to make plans for her family.

“These families were given the ‘blessing’ of time, and the ability to plan,” Zionts said. “Many of us put off these conversations until we are in a crisis situation, when we may make more emotional and less thoughtful decisions.”

The film is not a “medical documentary,” Zionts added, but rather very “personal and family-centered.”

One of the main motivations behind hospice care is that families spend quality time together, and in comfortable settings of their choosing. While some may wish to choose other forms of care, it’s important that everyone have the opportunity to learn about and discuss all of the available options with their families and physicians.

The Last Chapter  is available free of charge at the WQED-TV website.