TRENTON — The state has suspended the credentials of a home health aide who was charged with causing the death of an elderly woman at an Essex County nursing home.

Prosecutors said Monique Beaucejour, 46, left an elderly woman, who required extensive assistance, sitting on her bed. The woman fell off and seriously injured her head. Instead of getting medical help, Beaucejour placed the woman back into bed and left.

Prosecutors say Beaucejour later returned and pretended to have found the woman in her condition.

The woman was hospitalized and died that day.

The Bloomfield resident was charged in August with reckless manslaughter, obstructing the administration of law, suppressing evidence to hinder prosecution, and abandonment/neglect of an elderly person.

She has pleaded not guilty but has been fired. The State Board of Nursing suspended her nursing assistant certification after she was charged.

The State Board of Nursing this week also temporarily suspended her homemaker-home health aide certification pending the outcome of the charges. Beaucejour's job at the nursing home did not require her to work under the certification that the state suspended.

“Elderly patients in nursing homes are dependent upon caregivers who are duty-bound to ensure their wellbeing. When a caregiver recklessly disregards that duty, the results can be tragic,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Thursday. “Protecting this vulnerable population is paramount.”

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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