A survey of Tasmanian aged care workers has found that about four out of five respondents indicated they would leave the industry in the next five years, a prospect the Health and Community Services Union has labelled "alarming".
On the eve of the release of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety's final report, the HACSU survey paints a disheartening picture of the state of the sector in Tasmania.
It found that 83 per cent of the workers surveyed can't complete their daily tasks, with the vast majority conceding that they don't expect to still be working in aged care in five years' time due to a lack of sufficient staff in the sector.
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Meanwhile, 60 per cent of workers said their workload had again increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and that close to 30 per cent said they still encountered problems when trying to access personal protective equipment at work.
Chrissie O'Brien, an employee of one of the state's biggest aged care providers, said residents weren't getting the care they deserved due to facilities being underresourced.
"It's not a place that I want to be when I get old," she said. "And I'd hate to see some of my family members in the same boat."
"Carers ... [are] doing the best that they can with what they've got and the hours that they've got to do it in.
"It was a great industry to work in when I first started, for probably the first five years, but it's really, really declined. Workload's just gotten huge."
HACSU assistant state secretary Robbie Moore said there needed to be mandatory minimum staffing levels implemented in aged care facilities to ensure that residents received "the care they deserve".
"Secondly, we need to see investment in the staff," he said. "We need to see better wages, better conditions to attract and retain staff."
But Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck said a major focus of the Commonwealth government's response to the aged care royal commission's final report would be "growing and upskilling the aged care workforce".
"Quality Standards require organisations to have an effective and competent workforce where each staff member has the appropriate qualifications and knowledge to perform their role," Senator Colbeck said.
"Aged care homes are expected to consider the different levels of skills and abilities needed to meet residents' needs."
The royal commission's final report is due to be handed down on Friday.
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