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Spring Hill woman charged with running unlicensed assisted living facility

SPRING HILL — State officials have arrested a Spring Hill woman on charges that she operated an assisted living facility without a license.

Gloria Jean Olson, 62, was taken into custody March 4 by officers from Attorney General Bill McCollum's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. She was charged with a single count of operating an assisted living facility without a license, a third-degree felony.

Olson was released from the county jail later that day after posting $2,000 bail.

Her arrest followed a lengthy multiagency investigation into Olson's attempts to run an assisted living facility from her home at 6257 Swan Lane. Also assisting in the investigation were the state Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration.

According to court documents, DCF received a report Nov. 25 that one of the residents living at the home was being "inappropriately restrained." A woman who previously worked at the home told authorities that Olson had tied an elderly woman to a recliner chair with a long piece of cloth sheet.

The DCF also received reports that the woman had sustained bruises.

During the subsequent investigation, authorities learned Olson had been operating an assisted living facility without a license since 2000.

At one point, according to reports, Olson had as many as five residents who weren't family members living in her home. State law allows no more than two unrelated people to live in a home and receive care.

One of Olson's former employees, Pamela Ivancsits of Weeki Wachee, told authorities that she worked at the home for nearly three months and, prior to that, would occasionally come over to help sit with residents when Olson went out to run errands or eat dinner, records show.

During her time at the home, Ivancsits said the home was unclean, with insects in the kitchen drawers and crawling on countertops. Ivancsits also said Olson wouldn't allow some of the residents to take phone calls, regularly fed the residents frozen dinners that cost only 88 cents and often prevented outside help — particularly hospice or physical therapists — from coming into the home, describing them as "trouble."

Additionally, Ivancsits told authorities that one of the residents had accused Olson and her husband, William, of hitting her and keeping her restrained in a recliner with a piece of cloth sheet.

Olson told Ivancsits that the resident was tied to the chair because she recently had hip surgery and, if not restrained, she would try to walk and could have fallen.

Ivancsits later showed authorities pictures of the resident with multiple bruises on her face, around her eyes, and apparently broken blood vessels in her left eye.

According to court documents, Ivancsits stopped working at the home around the start of September after only a couple months on the job.

The Attorney General's Office also noted that William Olson is a registered sex offender, which would disqualify Gloria Olson from receiving a license to run a facility.

The residents were not immediately identified.

Reached on her cell phone Friday, Olson said she couldn't talk at the moment and would be available later. But a message left on her cell phone later in the afternoon wasn't immediately returned.

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120. Follow Joel Anderson on Twitter at twitter.com/jandersontimes.

Spring Hill woman charged with running unlicensed assisted living facility 03/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 12, 2010 8:29pm]
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