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The Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH) is a joint venture between the School of Psychology in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, the University of Exeter Medical School Institute of Health Research, and PenCLAHRC.

We are based in the School of Psychology within the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, and with PenCLAHRC in the Institute of Health Research at the University of Exeter Medical School. We are aligned with the University’s strategy for the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS strategy) and the University's dementia strategy.

Our aim

The aim of REACH is to improve the lives of older people and people with dementia through research focused on three main themes: maintaining cognitive health in later life, living well with age-related cognitive disability and dementia, and supporting family care.

What we do

  • REACH currently comprises 11 staff and doctoral students, holds grants totalling around £7 million, and collaborates in several other large projects in the UK and internationally.
  • Our work draws primarily on perspectives from social gerontology, clinical and behavioural psychology, neurorehabilitation and public health, but we collaborate with colleagues in many fields.
  • We undertake evidence syntheses, observational studies and intervention trials.
  • We use a range of methodological approaches; our focus is primarily quantitative, but we incorporate qualitative methods where appropriate to the research questions under investigation.
  • We work closely with voluntary sector partners, and we engage older people and people with dementia in the process of developing and conducting our research and disseminating the findings.
  • Alongside our research programme we contribute to local, national and international initiatives aimed at developing policy and practice and creating dementia-friendly communities. These include, among others:
    • Exeter Dementia Action Alliance
    • British Psychological Society Dementia Advisory Group
    • Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group
    • The Global Council on Brain Health