Compensation Strategies in Older Adults: Association With Cognition and Everyday Function

Sarah E Tomaszewski Farias, Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Alyssa Weakley, Danielle J Harvey, Katherine Denny, Cheyanne Barba, Jason T. Gravano, Tania Giovannetti, Sherry Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background/Rationale: Compensation strategies may contribute to greater resilience among older adults, even in the face of cognitive decline. This study sought to better understand how compensation strategy use among older adults with varying degrees of cognitive impairment impacts everyday functioning. Methods: In all, 125 older adults (normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, dementia) underwent neuropsychological testing, and their informants completed questionnaires regarding everyday compensation and cognitive and functional abilities. Results: Cognitively normal and mild cognitive impairment older adults had greater levels of compensation use than those with dementia. Higher levels of neuropsychological functioning were associated with more frequent compensation use. Most importantly, greater frequency of compensation strategy use was associated with higher levels of independence in everyday function, even after accounting for cognition. Conclusion: Use of compensation strategies is associated with higher levels of functioning in daily life among older adults. Findings provide strong rational for development of interventions that directly target such strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-191
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • compensation
  • dementia
  • everyday function
  • instrumental activities of daily living
  • mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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