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The ORCHARD (Oxford Cognitive Comorbidity and Ageing Research) group was set up in 2015 to help inform and develop studies involving older patients with cognitive and physical frailty. The group meets twice yearly with email correspondence in between.

ORCHARD has seven members who have links to the Alzheimer's Society, or have lived experience of caring for a family member with acute illness, cognitive decline, delirium and dementia.

The group is a partnership with the Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD) with a lead PPIE coordinator who arranges meetings and liaises with the group members on behalf of the CPSD Investigator working on dementia research. There is also some overlap with stroke research and the SPaRVAG group within CPSD.
The experience of the group members is invaluable in regards to dementia. One ORCHARD member has contributed to numerous studies on dementia and is particularly aware of the potential impacts of hospitalisation for people with vulnerable brains and the relative lack of knowledge available to guide patients and families in decision making. The members with links to the Alzheimer's Society have worked on a previous dementia study with another research team that specifically highlighted the need for better prognosis regarding longer term thinking/memory outcomes for patients in hospital as a key concern for patients and carers.

The mission for the group is to provide a forum for:

  • communicating experiences of dementia and taking part in research
  • collaborating with CPSD in identifying potential research topics and questions in relation to dementia which reflect the needs and priorities of patients, their carers and the public
  • reviewing patient information material for clarity, emphasis and understanding and providing feedback for ethics submission
  •  research grant applications including participation throughout a study for successful funding applications and assisting in disseminating results of research