Identifying Mobility Types in Cognitively Heterogeneous Older Adults Based on GPS-Tracking: What Discriminates Best?

Markus Wettstein*, Hans Werner Wahl, Noam Shoval, Gail Auslander, Frank Oswald, Jeremia Heinik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Heterogeneity in older adults' mobility and its correlates have rarely been investigated based on objective mobility data and in samples including cognitively impaired individuals. We analyzed mobility profiles within a cognitively heterogeneous sample of N = 257 older adults from Israel and Germany based on GPS tracking technology. Participants were aged between 59 and 91 years (M = 72.9; SD = 6.4) and were either cognitively healthy (CH, n = 146), mildly cognitively impaired (MCI, n = 76), or diagnosed with an early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT, n = 35). Based on cluster analysis, we identified three mobility types (Mobility restricted, Outdoor oriented, Walkers), which could be predicted based on socio-demographic indicators, activity, health, and cognitive impairment status using discriminant analysis. Particularly demented individuals and persons with worse health exhibited restrictions in mobility. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of heterogeneity in mobility in old age.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1001-1027
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation from 2008 to 2011, based on a grant to Hans-Werner Wahl (WA809/11-1).

Publisher Copyright:
© Southern Gerontological Society.


  • GPS technology
  • dementia
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • mobility
  • old age


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