A former care home worker has been convicted of neglect after throwing away patients' medication.
Susan McIntosh admitted 13 offences at Maidstone Magistrates' Court and was given an 18-month suspended sentence.
The 54-year-old had been head of care at the Chippendayle Lodge Care Home in Harrietsham, Kent.
The court heard Ms McIntosh had faced a prison term, but magistrates accepted she had been under extreme pressure and opted to suspend the sentence.
Mark Kateley, for the prosecution, said: "It was only good fortune that none of the elderly patients had suffered any lasting harm as a result of her neglectful actions."
An investigation started when staff at the care home raised the alarm.
Ms McIntosh told police the patients had refused to take their medication and said she had mistakenly recorded them as having been administered.
She said she had no memory of discarding the pills.
Ms McIntosh declined to comment outside court.
Her partner David Fox said she had been caring for him as he recovered from an operation to remove a brain tumour at the time of the offences.
"She was looking after me and trying to keep work going as well," he said.
"It's no excuse, but it was a very stressful time."
Heather Viggers, director of care and operation at Chippendayle Lodge owner Charing Healthcare, said: "We would like to thank our staff for being vigilant and following our policy and procedures to ensure the safety of our residents."