Physical, emotional, and cognitive changes are well documented in aging populations. We administered a comprehensive battery of mental and physical health measures and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA; a cognitive screening tool) to 93 independently living older adults (OAs) residing in a Continuing Care Senior Housing Community. Performance on the Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) test (a measure of functional mobility) correlated more strongly with the MoCA total score than did measures of aging, psychiatric symptoms, sleep, and both self-report and objective physical health. Furthermore, it was associated with MoCA Attention, Language, Memory, and Visuospatial/Executive subscales. The MoCA-TUG relationship remained significant after controlling for demographic and physical/mental health measures. Given that the TUG explained significantly more variance in broad cognitive performance than a comprehensive battery of additional physical and mental health tests, it may function as a multimodal measure of health in OAs, capturing physical changes and correlating with cognitive measures.
Keywords: assessment; assisted living; cognitive function; community; gait.