In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000

Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call


Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700


24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500

Celebrating Seniors

Our older Canberrans are an asset for our city. We can all learn from their knowledge and experience, and they make enormous contributions to families and to our community as a whole.

Each year, International Day of Older Persons and Grandparents Day are celebrated to connect with older members of our community and to express our appreciation, respect and care towards them.

Currently, with COVID-19 older members of our community are, along with the broader community, re-establishing activities and strengthening ways of connecting with family and friends. It’s important we reach out to older members of our community to let them know we’re all in this together and to express our care and appreciation during this challenging time. International Day of Older Persons and Grandparents Day provide the perfect opportunity to do just that!

Share Your Stores and Photos

If you would like to share your photos, videos, art, poems or ideas please contact the Crisis Response and Community Resilience Team at We would love to share your ideas and encourage others to get involved.

Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day, which this year will be held on 25 October 2020 is a day for celebrating the connections between the generations. The purpose of this day is to honour grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.

To mark Grandparents Day, Children’s week activities will include intergenerational events, to connect with and show appreciation of grandparents and older Canberrans who make invaluable contributions to children through volunteering their time to support children’s activities and through caring for grandchildren.

Visit Website:

Activities you can do with your Grandparents

Ideas to celebrate seniors, support connections between generations, and recognise International Day of Older Persons and Grandparents Day

Below are a range of fun generation-bridging activities to get started.

Write a letter, message or a card
Sending letters is a great way to keep connected and show your care, especially when you can’t visit. We have some great letter templates and message prompts to encourage children to write to their Grandparents or an older Canberrans. Why not write a message and take a photo of you holding it then send to your grandparent?

Letter template [PDF 275KB] [Word 17KB]

Ask questions
Give your child something to look back on by having them interview Grandma or Grandpa! Spark lively conversation or create a new memory with these suggested questions to help to start a discussion and encourage a dialogue. Children and young people could video or write down the answers and send to so we can share on social media.

Interview questions to ask your Grandparents [PDF 85KB] [Word 72KB]
Silly questions to ask your Grandparents [PDF 161KB] [Word 72KB]Grandparents Day Acrostic poem
Simply use the first letter of each line to spell out a word or message about your grandparent/grand friend.  Have fun making this fun unique acrostic poem about your grandparent(s) or older person in your life and send it to them.

Visit or call your grandparent/Grand-friend
Make time to visit or call or write to your grandparents/grand-friends. If you are unable to visit in person contact via FaceTime or Skype, or send a card or even an old-fashioned letter.

Play cards
Who doesn’t like a good game of cards? Card games like UNO, or Go Fish are great for any age!

Solve crosswords, puzzles or riddles
Puzzles are great because they challenge the mind and involve teamwork from both parties. Not only are they a fun activity but they also a great task to boost memory and stimulate minds, have fun and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Draw a family tree and discuss it's branches
Most families are a lot bigger than we tend to perceive. Have your child sit with their grandparents/grand-friends and go over a little family history.

Share old photos and talk about the stories behind them
Each photo is worth a thousand words, but often times we don’t know the real story behind the photos we see. Go through photos and talk about the memories behind them.

Go on a walk
Depending on the location you may be able to send your child on a quick walk with your grandparents/grand-friends to do a little sightseeing. Go on an outing to a park, museum or somewhere else special.

Have a tea party
Putting on a big fancy hat and doing a little acting is a great way to escape reality and have a little fun. You can make little mini finger sandwiches and mini cupcakes and use old fashioned looking tea pots and tea cups.  Tea parties are a great outlet for laughter and cheer.

Take turns reading a book
Whether it’s a bedtime story or a chapter of a favourite book reading is a great way to instil the importance of reading. Reading books aloud to children stimulates imagination and expands our understanding of the world. It is also a way to escape and your own life and take you to faraway lands, other times and put you in other people’s shoes. A fun way to keep your brain healthy and reduces stress.

Keep your eye on this page for more information about what’s going on to recognise, celebrate and connect with older Canberrans in the coming weeks. We’ll be posting lots of activities for everyone to enjoy for International Day of Older Persons and Grandparents Day.

Postcards for Grandparents

It is Grandparents day this Sunday,  why not let your Grand-parents/Grand-friends know how precious they are and how much you appreciate the relationship you have by sending them a  special message to let them know how much you care about them and value them with this lovely postcard.

Postcard 1

"My Grandma is the best because she makes the best food."

Postcard 2

"My Grandparents are the best because they care and they are kind."

Postcard 3

"I love drawing with my Nonna."

Postcard 4

Brenda, 92, says "Learn to dance and choose the right nail polish".

Postcard 5

Alex, 96 says, "Be happy".

International Day of Older Persons

The International Day of Older Persons, held annually on 1 October provides an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to our society. It’s a time for everyone, families and organisations, to acknowledge and say thank you for the huge contribution older people make to our community.

More information on International Day of Older Persons can be found on the United Nations website.

Reimagining Ageing

Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT is #ReimaginingAgeing to celebrate older Canberrans. COTA ACT help the community to support Canberra’s older community members. Take the time to get to know your older neighbours or other seniors in your community. Ask them about their life. Reach out to make a new friend, ask a question, join in on community activities, share a recipe, borrow some sugar, make tea for two and celebrate ageing! COTA ACT is supporting and celebrating many activities across the Territory for, about and focused on older Canberrans.

Reimagined Ageing [1MB]

For more information visit the COTA website, email or phone 6282 3777.

Image Gallery

Grandparents come in all shapes and sizes (step-grandparents, grand-friends, paternal grandparents and those who take on the role of a grandparent in their family or community), but they all have one thing in common – the joy they experience from knowing and being able to support their grandchild.Bruce and Nancy

It has been a tough year where COVID-19 has kept so many families apart, grandparents have been impacted from not seeing or being able to hug their grandchildren. Grandparents can have an important role in modelling and reinforcing positive values and are great at helping to build family unity and strength.

Grandparents bring so much happiness and wellbeing to the entire family. Simply put, relationships with grandparents is good for everyone, hence why we are ‘Celebrating Seniors’ and the special role they have in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Here’s more reasons why grandparents are important to visitExternal Link

Grandparents Day is a day dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the important contribution made by the older people of our community and become aware of the strength, guidance and joy older people of Canberra can offer.

Enjoy the gallery of wonderful photos below with older Canberrans sharing ‘words of wisdom’ to younger generations and children expressing their appreciation of grandparents who make invaluable contributions to our community.