Intergenerational Connections during COVID-19

Encourage your ageing loved ones to practice physical distancing by:

  • Staying at home as much as possible.
  • Visiting grocery stores only as necessary and during seniors-only shopping hours, ordering groceries online, or asking a loved one to pick them up.
  • Calling in for medications before picking them up or having someone else pick them up.
  • Encourage or if needed, help them to use Virtual Care with NTHSSA, to speak with their doctor instead of visiting in-person.

Participate in the GNWT ‘Protect Our Elders’ Community Campaign To Stop The Spread Of COVID-19 (GNWT)

This social media campaign encourages NWT residents to share the message that the kindest thing we can do to protect our Elders, and keep our loved ones safe, is to stay home and keep at least 2 meters away from people when outside our homes.

Community members are encouraged to snap a selfie and submit it (& share it on your social media!) for your messages to be shared along with those of other northerners.

Staying connected

  • Encourage (or help) them to set up video-call accounts and applications, like Facetime, Facebook Messenger Video Calling, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. Or keep it simple by phoning or texting them.
  • If your loved one lives in a long-term care facility, check with that facility to see if they’ve made accommodations for online visits using technology, and how they plan to communicate with families.
  • Send them cards, letters, magazines, puzzles, beading or sewing supplies, or other items you know your loved one would be happy to get! If your loved one lives at home, make sure that you fully sanitize all items and handle everything with washed hands before sending. If they live in a long-term care facility, talk with the facility’s family contact about the safest way to deliver items.
  • Chalk their sidewalks (when the snow melts!).
  • Leave a note outside an elderly neighbour’s door with your phone number, inviting them to call if they need groceries, prescriptions, or just want to talk. Again, make sure that the note is written with washed hands, on fresh paper that has not made contact with anyone else. If possible, sanitize before leaving it for them.
  • Help them download free books, magazines, newspapers, and music from the NWT Library eResources.
  • Share your Netflix, Crave, Disney+, YouTube, or other movie streaming platform with them, and help them download and use the app if they want and need it.

GNWT Health and Social Services COVID-19 Public Service Announcement

“Be Informed, Stay Calm, Let’s Combat COVID-19 Together”

South Slavey

Mental Health and Wellness

Mental Health and the Covid-19 Pandemic (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health) 
Mental Health and Social Distancing (GNWT)
Mental Health & Cultural Supports Poster (FNHA)
Mental health and wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
Taking care of your mental health (COVID-19) (Government of Canada)

Good Medicine Initiative

The First Nations Health Authority’s Wellness Team has created the #GoodMedicineFNHA to amplify and strengthen the resilience of Indigenous peoples across the country.

“As First Nations people, we know that humour and laughter are good medicine, especially at times like this. We need to share the funny, uplifting and inspiring stories keep us connected and help reduce feelings of isolation, and to remind us that we are all in this together.”

Email share your stories with them, or use #GoodMedicineFNHA and share them on social media.

Preparing Elders and Seniors to Quarantine or Self-Isolate

Ask these questions to ensure your loved ones are prepared and supported to self-isolate.

  1. Does this person have what they need to spend an extended period of time inside? If not, ask them how you can help to prepare supplies.
  2. If they have a caregiver who calls in sick, is there someone who can step in to help with these duties? Have a plan in place to make sure they’ll receive the support they need.
  3. If they have a telemedicine appointment coming up, will they be able to access it? If needed, set up the tech and show them how to use it to speak with their physician.

How to care for a person with COVID-19 at home – Advice for caregivers (Government of Canada)

Financial Assistance and Information

The NWT Seniors’ Society created a comprehensive resource of financial assistance available for older adults and Elders related to COVID-19; including federal funding for Indigenous communities, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and GNWT funding for people using Income Assistance, and the Seniors Home Heating Subsidy.

Federal funding for Indigenous communities

Providing $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities. Some of these funds may be directed toward Elders.
More information:

Federal Support for Seniors

1. Reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.

2. Delivery of items and personal outreach
$9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.

Contact NWT United Way to find out more
Phone: 867-669-7986


COVID-19: 4 tips to help the elderly stay connected (World Economic Forum) | March 13, 2020

Tips for Dementia Caregivers in Long-Term or Community-Based Settings (Alzheimer’s Association)

What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know? (Administration for Community Living, US Dept. Health and Social Services)

In Response To Coronavirus, Mom’s Nursing Home Asks You To Not Visit. What Should You Do? (Forbes) | March 12, 2020

How to help seniors get through the COVID-19 pandemic (CBC) | April 4, 2020 

NWT Seniors Information Handbook