Catherine Richardson wept in the dock as a court heard how she had gambled £1,197.97 stolen from a resident on slot machines.
Richardson, 47, had worked for Kirklees Council for 26 years and at Moorlands Grange care home in Netherton since 2007, Kirklees Magistrates Court heard.
Prosecuting, Andy Wills said the theft came to light after the council-run home investigated discrepancies in a log of a safe used to secure residents’ money.
The court heard a spreadsheet was used to balance money taken with reciepts for purchases.
Staff at the care home raised the alarm when they realised money was missing from the victim’s account.
Mr Wills said he was a vulnerable resident who had no next of kin.
Richardson, of Town Street, Batley Carr, would take money from the safe to purchase something for him and fail to return the change.
Over a period of 18 months she stole amounts ranging from £20 to £200, the court heard.
She was interviewed by police in February and confessed to taking the cash.
She told officers: “I hold my hands up, I should not have done it.”
Mr Wills said: “Her intention was to pay back the money within six to 12 months but it didn’t happen.”
Richardson pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by employee between March 2011 and September 2012 at the same court on June 26.
Mitigating at Thursday’s hearing, Peter Hampson said Richardson’s work had become very stressful.
He said: “She found it difficult to cope and suffered from depression
“She worked in the care community for a significant period of time and understands she is now disgraced.”
Sentencing, magistrate John Gledhill said: “You are obviously remorseful for what’s happened.”
Richardson was given a 12-month community order with a 15 day activity requirement.
She was ordered to pay back all the money she had stolen and complete 150 hours unpaid work.