Clare Nowland, the 95-year-old woman tasered by police in her Cooma aged care home, is receiving end of life care in the wake of the horrific ordeal.
Her family – while demanding answers from police officials – have kept vigil at Clare’s bedside, according to her priest, Father Mark Croker.
Father Croker had visited Clare in hospital, and said mass, five days after she was tasered.
“She looks peaceful,” he told The Daily Telegraph, “she’s not conscious but she certainly looks comfortable.”
He reported that Clare’s family – her eight children and their relations – had been taking it in turns to speak to her, noting that “they say the last of your senses to go is your hearing, so we know she can hear us.
“The thing with Clare is the dementia hadn’t completely taken hold, you could still have a conversation with her … she might get a bit confused, but that’s an age thing”.
He went on to share that he had been with Clare in that same hospital just a week before, when she had been there over a minor illness.
“We had a good conversation,” he revealed. “Her daughter was there too … she had her knitting with her, which was her thing in later life, she was in very good form.”
Things had taken a sharp turn for the 95 year old, however, when police and paramedics were called to her Yallambee Lodge aged care facility over reports that Clare was holding a steak knife, and staff were requesting assistance.
When officers failed to disarm her, a senior constable with 12 years of experience used his taser on her. Clare consequently fell backwards, and received critical head injuries.
As family friend and community advocate Andrew Thaler has reported, Clare’s family are “distraught” over the force used against her, and want an explanation.
“They want answers,” he said, “as does the community … but they are scared because they’ve been told not to talk publicly.
“This is possibly the oldest person on the planet to be tasered, there really are no words for this.”
Those answers may come from the ongoing investigation into the incident, with NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb revealing that she had gone to speak with Clare’s family about “the investigation and the process.
“And more importantly, listening to them. We talked about their mother and the very rich, full life that she’s had.”
The events of the tragic day were also captured on body cameras, and while police officials have no intentions of releasing the footage due to its “confronting” nature, according to Webb “the best detectives in New South Wales are on this case.
“They’ve come from Homicide Squad … So I have every confidence that is being handled in a different way now.”
Webb added that she thought it was “quite rare” for law enforcement to be called to a nursing home, “and if in the fullness of this investigation we come to learn that we need to better equip our officers to deal with dementia patients then we will do so.”
This article first appeared on Over60.