The focus of the investigation is to ensure that aged care residents receive safe, quality care and that aged care providers fulfil their legal responsibilities to prevent and effectively respond to such incidents as Yallambee.
The Commission is actively gathering information from Snowy Monaro Regional Council, the approved provider of Yallambee Lodge, to assess their response to the incident and the care provided to Ms Nowland. The investigation will consider factors such as the availability of appropriate clinical and behavioural support for Ms Nowland.
Throughout the investigation, the Commission will collaborate with Ms Nowland’s family, the provider, NSW Police and other involved parties. If it is determined that the provider has failed to meet their legal obligations, the Commission will take appropriate action to ensure accountability. Immediate action will be taken if there is identified to be a severe risk to residents’ safety.
The Commission expressed its sympathy and support for Ms Nowland, her family and all those affected by this distressing incident.
Contradictory Perspectives on Police Involvement in Aged Care Facilities Surface
Following the recent incident, discussions have emerged regarding the involvement of police officers in aged care facilities. NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb stated that it is uncommon for police to be called to nursing homes, but an aged care expert, Paul Sadler, contradicts this claim.
Sadler, an experienced aged care consultant and former chief executive of Aged and Community Care Providers, argues that police officers are frequently called to aged care homes, particularly in cases involving physical assault and sexual abuse. He highlights that involving the police is a common protocol when staff are unable to manage difficult situations.
The ongoing investigation into the incident at Yallambee Lodge includes an examination of bodycam footage described by the police as “confronting.” The footage allegedly shows Ms Nowland approaching the officers with a knife before being tasered. Commissioner Webb has pledged to implement more appropriate training for officers attending aged care facilities, if necessary, to better handle situations involving residents with dementia.
Meanwhile, Ms Nowland remains in critical condition at Cooma District Hospital, where she is receiving end-of-life treatment. Her family and close relatives, still in shock from the incident, are providing support during this difficult time. Commissioner Webb has spent time with the family and described Ms Nowland as an active member of her community, known for her passion for golf.
The officer involved in the tasing incident is no longer in office and is receiving support and monitoring from their command.