Interview by Ilze Neimane-Neshpora for Aptiekāra Žurnal

For charity, volunteering and a peaceful passing.

A Table for Our Own is just one of the campaigns implemented by Hospiss LV. The main goal of the organisation is big and important for the whole society - to revitalise hospice care in Latvia, to get the legislation in order so that the service can be received as soon as it is needed and that the service is at least partly financed by the state. Ilse's conviction is that the passing of a person should be treated with the same care as birth, giving the person who is leading the last days of life all the support and security needed to make this time truly peaceful.


The idea of hospice care came about when I realised that I wanted to do something worthwhile and useful for society on a voluntary basis. Ilze says: "It was three years ago - supporting seriously ill people seemed like the right topic for me. At that time, there were volunteer courses available and my partner Ilze Zosuli and I completed the course. Alongside the training, we started to learn about hospice work in Europe and Russia. When we visited a hospice in Moscow, we saw that palliative patients were treated to meals specially prepared for them. There it was called teleжкa радости - the trolley of joy. In 2019, we started to implement this idea in Latvia - we called it the Festive Table, we approached different restaurants, we came with a new spirit and a feeling that palliative care and the end of life can be perceived in a less dramatic way. We wanted to change attitudes because while a person is alive, they have wishes and interests and it is important to understand how to enhance that spark of life once survival has become predictable." Ilze and her like-minded friends visited the 1st Riga Hospital and the palliative ward of RAKUS Biķernieku Hospital with the food trolley. "When we entered the wards and also studied the system, we realised that there is a great lack of hospice in Latvia - a special place where everything these people need is taken care of. Patients can stay in hospital palliative care wards for a while and then have to go home. No thought is given to what happens if relatives are not ready to provide proper care, if the person has nowhere to go," says Ilze.

Own organisation - Hospiss LV

Hospices have existed around the world for at least 40 years. After learning about the experience of hospices in Europe and Russia, Ilze and her colleagues decided to fight for the Latvian state to introduce this service. "The only way we could fight was to set up a non-governmental organisation. The first and main goal of our statutes is to promote the concept of hospice in Latvia. We asked linguists for the Latvian version of the word, but we stuck with the name that is known and understood all over the world." The pandemic made some adjustments to the organisation's plans, but this is exactly why the idea of the Table for Saviours campaign was born. "We hope that everyone who donated to this medical support campaign asked themselves what the word hospice in our organisation's name means."

A table for your own - from the heart

Ilze recalls: 'With the restrictions on kovids, we could no longer go to hospitals with food trolleys. But people wanted to help, and we had already arranged for supporters, cooks. So we started another campaign - A Table for Our Own. We took as many as 1000 portions a day to the medics. This campaign has been running for more than a year now. We see it not as a catering campaign, but as a solidarity and support campaign. And this is not a story about a medic not being able to take lunch from home. It's about someone else! We started because we felt at that moment that we could not do otherwise. April and March last year was a confusing time - we didn't know what to expect, how the medics would fare. This campaign was about changing public attitudes, about solidarity with the medical profession. Aunties brought tangerines, children made little savings baskets to donate - it was everything! We are grateful to the donors. Of course, as time goes by, everything changes and changes are reflected in such a sensitive area as charity." Last summer, Hospiss LV discontinued the Table for Saviours campaign. When the emergency ended, it seemed that Latvia had coped well with the epidemic, but then came autumn. "I didn't have the courage, but our donors from DEPO called and urged me to resume the campaign. It's true that there were already different reactions from the medical community, and it was difficult to understand who needed it and who didn't," says Ilze.

Giving medics a break

But the organisation continues to care for medics by giving them a break from their hard work in hospitals. "We think that the 'Rest for our own' campaign is really useful - it is an opportunity for medics to go away for three days and relax in one of Latvia's rural guesthouses. We don't discriminate about who gets a break. The management of each hospital passes on the message to those who need it. This opportunity has already been taken up by the doctors of the Stradiņš Hospital's metal department, and is currently being offered to the doctors of the Infectiology Centre." Ilze reveals that the initiator of the campaign is someone who has been burnt several times in his life. He is also the first donor. Many guesthouses give the opportunity to doctors to rest for free. The campaign will continue throughout the summer. 

For a peaceful end of life

 Ilse's big pain is still the lack of hospices in Latvia: "Hospice is different from palliative care. A palliative or terminally ill patient can be there for ten years, for example. Hospice, on the other hand, means that life expectancy is predicted and it is the last six months of life. Why should a person miss out on appropriate care at the end of life? Why does the state not take care of this? At the moment, the care of the sick person is left to the relatives, and they have to be emotionally and physically prepared for it." Latvia's hospitals have nine palliative care units where a patient can stay for seven to ten days. After that, you have to pay for it, which is not a small sum and not everyone can afford it. "We have spoken to patients - hospitals are not the kind of place where you want to stay for a long time. Patients would like to go to a hospice - a home for dying people, where they would be cared for according to their needs, washed, cuddled, fed, taken outside. The family could return to active life with peace of mind about their loved one." Ilze is convinced that the state should take over the hospice and she and her like-minded colleagues are fighting to make the state hear: "We have written many letters to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Welfare, but to no avail. We had a dream - we would do a pilot project, for example, providing hospice care for ten people. We show how the service should work (we have carers, a chaplain, a doctor, a nurse, a physiotherapist, a psychologist, volunteers), ministry officials assess the costs and decide how much of the costs can be covered by the state budget. But we have not made any progress on this issue. We have received praise from the Riga City Council that we are doing well and that the Riga City Council wants to introduce a new service, but so far we have no support. We have similar communication with the ministries." However, Hospiss LV is not folding its arms. "Everything is happening - we are taking huge steps and we have done a fantastic amount. We are currently organising free care for six clients with the donations we collect, and we are cooperating with the Latvian Samaritans' Association. It will take at least two months to set up a social home care service. This was arranged for two patients: one managed to receive the service for two weeks, the other for only three days. This means that in a bureaucratic circle, people have no chance of getting a service when they really need it."

Hospiss LV house on top!

Hospice is an indicator of social well-being, says Ilze. "People have lived, worked and paid taxes in this country. Why should he feel marginalised and unnecessary at the end of his life? When we talked about this in the Ministry of Health, they hit us on the shoulder - good for them! But when we asked for one hospice doctor and one nurse to work with our carers, we got nothing." There will be a hospice house after all. A suitable location is being found, work is underway and Ilze hopes that by July it will be able to accommodate the clients who are currently being cared for in their own homes. "Yes, we are only in Riga for now. When the first hospice house becomes operational, all the questions will be answered and the holes in the legislation that need to be sorted out will be clearly visible. If in a few months we move into our little hospice with five beds, that will be fantastic! Someone will be able to plant flowers, someone will be able to bring their dog, someone will be able to get out after being trapped in their flat and not being able to see the sun." To ensure that the work is done properly and that the service is of high quality, the organisation has provided training for 70 volunteers through a licensed programme.

Hope to be heard

Ilze repeatedly emphasises that hospice does not cure the client, it only alleviates the symptoms. "In a hospice, the priority is the individual needs of each client - for one, it is important to have an oxygen concentrator bottle available at all times, for another - to have their cat with them or, for example, to always have someone nearby who holds a phone to their ear three times a day when they call their daughter." Negotiations with ministries have so far failed to yield results, but Ilze hopes that the situation will change: "We are waiting for the state to amend the legislation to reduce the bureaucracy in receiving the service. If a GP says, for example, that John needs hospice care, he gets it the next day, and he can choose whether he will be cared for at home or in a hospice house. Properly organised hospice care focuses on the moral support of the family - they are there, they can talk through what is important and they know that their loved one is not suffering. At the end of life, it is important that the person can strengthen their spirituality and enter the finishing line with peace of mind, with their loved ones by their side."

Make a wish come true!

Last year, Hospiss LV launched the campaign "Fulfilled with wishes". However, the campaign was put on hold by the Kovids, but one day it will again fulfil the wishes of dying people. "The stories are so emotional! For example, there was a young man, Alexander, with rapidly progressing pancreatic cancer and he had a wish to catch catfish in the Daugava River. Everything had already been arranged, but he refused to go - he was afraid that if he died in the boat, he would cause problems for his doctors. The conversation about catching catfish revealed that Alexander's relationship with his son had broken down and they had not seen each other for several years. I found the guy on the internet and showed Alexander pictures of his son. Alexander asked to print them. A few hours after the doctor brought him the pictures, the man died. After his death, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the River Daugava, with the doctors and nurses present. Yes, it is probably unprofessional to say goodbye to a patient like that, but it was the most beautiful funeral I have ever attended. Everything that is thought of, built around the departure, heals those left behind." Nothing ends with death - that is Ilse's conviction: "It is a sacred process, and neglecting it destroys the peace and sanctity of the moment. If it is possible to lessen the pain of leaving for someone, it is worth it. The experience, emotions and satisfaction I have gained over these two years are incomparable. I want the State to fulfil its functions. Then let us all plant hospice gardens together and make Latvia the best place in the world for the last stage of life."

Source: Aptiekāra Žurnāls JUNIJS 2021 Magazine publisher - AS RPH Marketing Latvia.

Thanks to Zanda Jankevica for the interview!


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Hospiss LV

REG. NR. 40008291781



SIA Hospiss Māja invites caregivers for people in palliative care to join its team. Work at the client's home in Riga and suburbs.

Each carer works with one client, 8 hours per working day.

Job duties:
- provide quality care to the client, working as part of an interdisciplinary team;
- providing personal hygiene and meals for the client;
- to ensure your well-being and enjoyment;
- work with the client's family;
- document the actions taken;
- regularly monitor the client's health and report any changes.

Key requirements:
- understanding palliative and hospice care;
- a desire to help people through your work, empathy and sincerity;
- a sense of responsibility, integrity, decision-making and the ability to act appropriately in critical situations
- knowledge of Latvian;
- Russian language skills will be an advantage;
- interoperable Covid-19 certificate.

We offer:
- pre-employment training
- salary 1089 EUR (gross);
- reimbursement of public transport costs
- health insurance (after probation)
- working in a multidisciplinary team
- regular training and supervision

Please send your CV and a motivation letter marked "Caregiver" to [email protected].
Please be informed that the personal data you provide in your application documents will be processed in the context of this selection.

We will contact the candidates and invite them for interviews.


This privacy policy, hereinafter referred to as the Policy, describes how and what personal data is processed by the HOSPISS LV Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the Foundation) on the website hospiss.lv.

This Policy applies to:

  • both in cases where the Foundation is deemed to be the Controller pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (hereinafter "the Regulation");
  • both in cases where the Foundation is considered a Processor under the Regulation;
  • both in cases where the Foundation is considered a Third Party under the Regulation.
  • if a natural person contributes (monetary donation, food donation, donation of appliances, equipment or objects, volunteer work) or is otherwise associated with the work of the Foundation;
  • If a natural person receives any form of support from the Foundation;
  • if the Foundation processes the personal data of natural persons on the basis of the legal grounds set out in the Regulation.

Processing means any operation or set of operations which is performed upon personal data or upon sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure, transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.

Personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as his or her name, identification number, location data, online identifier or to one or more factors specific to his or her physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.

A controller is a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

A processor is a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.

Third party means a natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body other than the data subject, the controller, the processor and persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or processor, are authorised to process personal data.

The data subject is any natural person who supports the Foundation or receives support from the Foundation.


2.1 Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (27 April 2016);

2.2 Law on Associations and Foundations;

2.3 Law on Public Benefit Organisations;

2.4. laws, regulations and other documents governing taxation and accounting.


3.1 This Policy provides general information on how the Foundation processes personal data. More detailed information on the processing of personal data is provided to individuals in the course of their day-to-day work, in internal documents and in response to written requests from data subjects.

3.2 The Foundation shall ensure the confidentiality of personal data within the framework of the applicable laws and regulations and has implemented appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect personal data from unauthorised access, unlawful processing or disclosure, accidental loss, alteration or destruction.

3.3 Where the Foundation, as the Controller, uses processors (for example, the assistance of a company providing accounting services), the Foundation shall take the necessary measures to ensure that such processors process personal data in accordance with the Foundation's instructions and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and shall require appropriate security measures to be taken.

3.4 If the Foundation updates this Policy, the current version of the Policy will be published on the Foundation's website hospiss.lv. Historical versions of this Policy will be available from the management of the Foundation. It is the responsibility of each individual to keep abreast of changes made by the Foundation.

3.5 In order to provide the Public with a more complete picture of the activities carried out by the Foundation, the Foundation also processes data collected from the activities carried out.

3.6 When the data subject visits the Foundation's website, his or her data (IP address) may be processed. When clicking on Facebook, Instagram or other links, the providers of the respective website, such as Facebook or Instagram, will initiate the processing of the data subject's data and will access the data subject's data in accordance with their terms and conditions, which we recommend that you consult on the website of the respective provider.

3.7 The Foundation does not carry out profiling of personal data.



Data category

Examples of data types

Some examples of data processing


Personal identification data

Name, surname, personal code

You, your relatives contact the Foundation for support or provide financial or other support to the Foundation, you are enrolled in our Friends Club or any of our other projects / campaigns


Contact details of the person

Home address, telephone number, e-mail address

You sign up to help the Foundation or you ask the Foundation for help by leaving your contact details


Data on activities carried out


Type, description, start and end date

You participate in the Foundation's activities or receive support


Photos / video

Digital image of a person, voice recording

You participate in the Foundation's activities or receive support, this is recorded by photo or video


Communication data

Incoming/outgoing communication, phone calls, correspondence, content

You communicate with the Foundation


Settlement details


Settlement system account number, bank account number, date, amount, date of payment, purpose of payment

You provide financial support to the Foundation


Performed on social networks

Photos, comments

You comment on the Foundation's activities on social networks


Actions taken on the website

IP address, information about the activities carried out on the website

You are visiting a website


Health data

Information on functional impairments, their severity, diagnosis in exceptional cases, treatment required

You have asked for help, the professionals analyse it before they support you, during the support


Details of authorised persons, legal representatives

Name, surname, personal identification number, basis of representation, contact details

You are represented by another person in cooperation with the Foundation


Volunteer data

Name, surname, contact details

Information needed by the Foundation to ensure transparency of the services required


Donor data

Name, surname, personal identification number, account No Amount donated

You donate money to our projects


Foundation staff data

Name, surname, personal ID, address, account No, phone No, etc.

Information needed by the employer to comply with the statutory requirements regarding the processing of your data as an employee


Other data

Other data

You carry out other activities related to the Foundation's activities


5.1 The legitimate interests of the Foundation - consistent with the objectives of the Foundation. The Foundation has the right to process personal data to the extent that it is objectively necessary and sufficient to fulfil the purposes for which the Foundation was established.

5.2.Compliance with legal obligations - The Foundation is entitled to process personal data in order to comply with the requirements of regulatory enactments, as well as to respond to legal requests of the state and local government, to provide information on donations received and their use.

5.3 Data Subject Consent - The data subject consents to the collection and processing of personal data for specified purposes. The data subject's consent constitutes his or her free will and independent decision, which may be given at any time, thereby authorising the Foundation to process the personal data for the specified purposes. The data subject's consent is binding on him or her if given in writing, including by email, or by implied consent, for example by being photographed with representatives of the Foundation when receiving support or by sending the Foundation a photograph of himself or herself. The data subject shall have the right to withdraw his or her prior consent at any time through the indicated channels of communication with the Foundation. The notified changes will take effect within three working days. The withdrawal of consent shall not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent prior to the withdrawal.

5.4 Protection of vital interests - The Foundation is entitled to process personal data in order to protect the vital interests of a natural person, e.g. where the processing is necessary for humanitarian purposes, for monitoring natural and man-made disasters, in particular epidemics and their spread, or in humanitarian emergencies (acts of terrorism, cybercrime, technogenic disasters, etc.).

5.5 Exercise of official authority or public interest - The Foundation is entitled to process data for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Foundation by law. In such cases, the basis for processing personal data is included in the regulatory enactments.

5.6.Conclusion and performance of the contract - in order for the Foundation to conclude and perform a contract with any cooperation partner, the Foundation must collect and process certain personal data that is collected prior to entering into a contract with the Foundation or during the course of a contract that has already been concluded.


The purposes of the processing of the Foundation's data are the same as its founding purposes, which are as follows:

6.1. to create and promote a respectful and unprejudiced understanding of hospice services based on human choice in Latvian society among the general public, state and local government employees, health care and welfare professionals, thereby increasing the capacity of individuals to actively participate in maintaining, improving and promoting their own and their family members' health;

6.2. building, promoting and raising the profile of volunteerism and meaningful assistance among the Latvian population in the field of palliative care and hospice services, including the donation of property, financial resources, time and knowledge without remuneration;

6.3. to support the establishment of new palliative and hospice care providers, as well as the education of their staff, medical and social assistance professionals in palliative and hospice care, which would include the systematic provision of knowledge and skills, in addition to the national education system;

6.4. to identify people in Latvia who are in nursing homes, hospitals and other care institutions and who are in need of palliative or hospice care in order to promote their health and improve the overall physical, mental and social well-being of society;

6.5. to undertake a range of activities with the aim of establishing a new hospice and/or palliative care centre(s) in Latvia;

6.6. to provide any kind of support to those in need;

6.7. provide a range of social services.

The Foundation shall be entitled to process the data for the above purposes as well as for other purposes by providing the data subject with the possibility to opt-out of the processing, unless such opt-out is restricted by any laws or regulations.


The data subject shall have the right with regard to the processing of his/her data classified as personal data under the applicable laws and regulations. These rights are generally:

7.1 Receive information about the processing of your data in accordance with the requirements of the Regulation;

7.2. to request the rectification of your personal data if it is inadequate, incomplete or incorrect;

7.3. object to the processing of your personal data where the processing is based on legitimate interests;

7.4 Request the erasure of their personal data, for example, if the personal data is processed on the basis of consent and the data subject has withdrawn their consent. This right shall not apply if the personal data whose erasure is requested are also processed on the basis of another legal basis, such as a contract or obligations arising from the relevant laws and regulations, or their retention is required by applicable laws and regulations;

7.5. to restrict the processing of their personal data in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, for example, at the time when the Foundation is assessing whether the data subject has the right to have their data erased;

7.6. to be informed whether the Foundation processes the personal data of the data subject and, if it does, to have access to them;

7.7. to receive their personal data provided by the data subject to the Foundation and processed on the basis of consent and contractual performance in written form or in one of the most commonly used electronic formats and, if possible, to transfer such data to another Foundation (data portability);

7.8. withdraw your consent to the processing of your personal data;

7.9. not be subject to fully automated decision-making, including profiling;

7.10. to lodge complaints regarding the use of personal data with the Data State Inspectorate (www.dvi.gov.lv) if the Data Subject believes that the processing of his/her personal data violates his/her rights and interests in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations;

7.11 The Foundation is obliged to respond to the data subject's request within 30 days of receipt of the request, if necessary by requesting additional information, such as identification data, in order to verify the identity of the data subject without any doubt.


No "remember me" cookies are created or stored when you visit the Foundation's website. Only cookies that ensure the functionality of the website are used.


Personal data will be processed only for as long as is necessary to fulfil the purpose of the processing. The retention period may be justified by the legitimate interests of the Foundation, internal documentation or applicable laws and regulations (e.g. accounting laws, etc.).


10.1.The Foundation obtains personal data when a natural person:

10.1.1. support the Foundation;

10.1.2. receive support from the Foundation;

10.1.3. ask the Foundation for more information about the Foundation's aims, activities, etc;

10.1.4. participate in the activities of the Foundation;

10.1.5. being photographed or filmed within the framework of the Foundation's activities;

10.1.6. post comments on social networks;

10.2 The Foundation may process personal data received from third parties (e.g. social services, relatives) in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation.


11.1 The Foundation shall ensure, keep under review and improve safeguards to protect personal data against unauthorised access, accidental loss, disclosure or destruction. To ensure this, the Foundation applies modern technology, technical and organisational requirements, including the use of firewalls, intrusion detection, analysis software and even data encryption where necessary.

11.2 The Foundation shall carefully examine all cooperation partners with whom personal data are jointly processed, as well as assess whether the cooperation partners (personal data processors) apply appropriate security measures to ensure that the processing of personal data is carried out in accordance with the Foundation's delegation and the requirements of regulatory enactments.

11.3 The Cooperation Partners are not allowed to process personal data for their own purposes.

11.4 The Foundation shall not be liable for any unauthorised access to and/or loss of personal data that is beyond the control of the Foundation, for example due to the fault and/or negligence of the Client, the Affiliate, a third party or the data subject.


12.1 Personal Data is generally processed in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA), however, in some cases it may be transferred to and processed in countries outside the EU/EEA, such as posting on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere.

12.2 The transfer and processing of personal data outside the EU/EEA may take place where there is a lawful basis for doing so, namely for the performance of a legal obligation, the conclusion or performance of a contract, and appropriate safeguards are in place. Adequate safeguards include, for example:

- There is an agreement in place, including standard clauses or other approved terms of an EU contract, code of conduct, certifications, etc., which have been approved under the General Data Protection Regulation;

- In the non-EU/EEA country where the recipient is located, an adequate level of data protection is ensured in accordance with the EU Commission Decision;

- The recipient is certified under the Privacy Shield (applies to recipients located in the United States).

12.3 Upon request, the data subject may obtain further information on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU/EEA.


13.1 The Customer may contact the Foundation in relation to queries, withdrawal of consent, requests, exercise of data subject rights and complaints about the use of personal data.

13.2 The Foundation's contact details are available on the website: www.hospiss.lv, in the Contacts section.