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Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory, Tools and Technology

TACT3 is a research project whose aim is to reduce the impact of continence difficulties for older people and thereby assisting them to maintain a positive identity and good quality of life.

The project compromises of four research work packages focusing on; the Built Environment, Health Service Provision and Assistive Technology, with a core and overarching Knowledge Transfer and Project Management work package, whose aim is to ensure the involvement of older people in all aspects of the research.

The aim of TACT3 is to reduce the impact of continence difficulties for older people by:

Raising awareness of continence issues
Improving understanding of treatment services
Improving toilet provision for older people
Providing assistive devices for older people with continence disability

Why research Continence?

Incontinence is probably one of the last social taboos. Even in relatively open societies like the UK continence difficulties are rarely discussed. As people grow older, bladder and bowel problems become more common. Urinary systems become less efficient as we age and medications increase the frequency of urination and disturb gastro-intestinal functions. Mobility problems make it hard for older people to maintain continence because of difficulties in reaching a toilet in time and transferring onto it.

Continence problems can cause embarrassment and distress to the sufferer and are a burden (emotionally, physically and financially) on family carers. Enabling older people to have a good quality of life and defer the fear of transition of 'fit old' to 'frail old', could be greatly aided by the reassurance of appropriate toilet provisions, effective treatment for continence problems and well designed assistive devices.


The project is valued at £1.6M and is funded by the cross council New Dynamics of Ageing Programme (NDA) and is administered by the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC)


NDA Logo with strapline                ESRC logo

Page last updated: Monday 26 March 2012