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Police in Australia accused of using Taser on 95-year-old woman

A 95-year-old great-grandmother with dementia was hospitalized after sustaining injuries when police in Australia used a Taser on her inside her nursing home, according to local media and a person speaking with the family's permission.

The woman was found wandering with a knife at the Yallambee Lodge home in southern New South Wales on Wednesday, Andrew Thaler told Guardian Australia.

"That's somehow resulted in the police Tasering this woman twice, once in front of her chest, and once in the back, then she's fallen and struck her head," Thaler told the news outlet.

New South Wales state police said in a statement the woman "sustained injuries during an interaction with police at an aged care facility," and made no mention of a Taser being fired.

The 95-year-old was being monitored at Cooma District Hospital, police said.

"A critical incident team will now investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident," the statement added. "That investigation will be subject to independent review."

Police declined to give further details.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper identified the woman as Clare Nowland, a mother of eight, and reported she was found in her walker holding the knife when police were called to the home.

Relatives of the woman, who lived in the nursing home for five years, were at her bedside in a hospital and declined to comment, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. The country's national broadcaster had reported on Nowland's 80th birthday, which she celebrated by going skydiving in Canberra.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council said it "can confirm an incident occurred" at the nursing home, which it runs.

"Council are supporting our staff, residents, and families during this difficult time," it said in a statement.

The council declined further comment, citing the police investigation and "out of respect for the privacy of those involved."

Calls to a representative for the hospital's regional health department went unanswered.

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