Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory, Tools & Technology (TACT3)

By Jo-Anne Bichard, Eleanor van den Heuvel, Felicity Jowitt, Mary Gilhooly, Stuart G. Parker, Adele Long, Norman M. Ratcliffe, Kevin J. McKee and Patrick Gaydecki.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

After dementia, nothing is more feared by older people than the loss of continence. It is often the reason many people enter care facilities and can contribute to the breakdown of caring relationships. This paper reports on a three-year research project funded by the UK New Dynamics of Aging programme, which has explored three key issues in the predicament of maintaining continence from the “user’s” perspective. Firstly, understanding how continence services operated by the UK National Health Service can be improved to offer cost effective benefits that encourage people to report this sometimes embarrassing condition with confidence. Secondly, working directly with the US Simon Foundation, the project has developed user-requested, assistive devices that target the most embarrassing aspects of the condition, namely issues of personal odor control and urine leakage from continence pads. Lastly, understanding the challenges of managing continence in daily living outside of the home, with particular reference to accessing publicly accessible toilet facilities. The paper will highlight the research that has provided the basis for innovative design solutions.

Keywords: Ageing, Incontinence, Assistive Technologies, Service Provision, Public Toilets

Aging and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.83-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.513MB).

Jo-Anne Bichard

Research Fellow, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art, London, UK

Jo-Anne Bichard is a design anthropologist whose research focuses on multi and inter-disciplinary collaboration in ageing research. She has a BSc (Hons) in social anthropology, a MSc in science communication, and is currently completing a PhD in ethnoarchitecture. She has conducted a number of ethnographic studies in ageing of non-domestic environments including public space and supporting facilities, and workplaces. Jo-Anne is a Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design Research Fellow and leads the academic research of the centre. She is Co-Investigator of Tackling Aging Continence through Theory Tools and Technology (TACT3) funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing programme, and Principle Investigator of Robust Accessible Toilets (RATs) funded by the ESRC’s Connected Communities programme. Jo-anne has been published widely in the area of accessible public toilet design and is the co-author of ‘New Demographics New Workspace: Office Design for a Changing Work-force’ (2010).

Eleanor van den Heuvel

Brunel University, UK

Eleanor van den Heuvel Research Fellow Brunel University, Principle Investigator TACT3, Director of Assistive Technology Programme.

Felicity Jowitt

Brunel University, UK

Felicity Jowitt Industrial Designer Brunel University.

Mary Gilhooly

Brunel University, UK

Professor Mary Gilhooly Professor in Health Studies, Brunel University, Executive Director, Brunel Institute for Ageing Studies.

Stuart G. Parker

Sheffield University, UK

Professor Stuart Parker. Professor of Health Care for Older People, University of Sheffield. Associate Director, NIHR CLAHRC for South Yorkshire.

Adele Long

Bristol Urological Institute, UK

Adele Long Director of the BioMed Healthcare Technology Co-operative, Bristol Urological Institute.

Norman M. Ratcliffe

University of the West of England, UK

Professor Norman Ratcliffe, Professor in Analytical and Sensor Sciences University of the West of England.

Prof. Kevin J. McKee

Dalarna University, Sweden

Professor Kevin J. McKee Professor of Gerontology, Dalarna University Sweden.

Patrick Gaydecki

University of Manchester, UK

Professor Patrick Gaydecki Professor of Digital Signal Processing University of Manchester.