New Testing Program Helps Residents Track Cognitive Health


At Butterfield, we aim to help residents live healthy well-rounded lifestyles. We believe that exercise plays a vital role in such a lifestyle, but other components are important, too. 

For the past several years, the BTV Fitness and Wellness Department has used testing tools to track the progress in the physical fitness of our residents. Tools like the Yearly Senior Fitness Test help residents define, reach and surpass their fitness goals – and help our team tailor fitness offerings, like one-on-one personalized training, water aerobics, and tai chi, to best meet the needs of residents.

Soon, BTV will be introducing a new testing tool that will not only help track the physical fitness of residents but help gauge their cognitive health, too. In conjunction with the University of Arkansas Exercise Science Research Center, Butterfield will incorporate the NIH Toolbox Cognition Test, a comprehensive set of neuro-behavioral measurements used to evaluate central nervous system functioning.

The NIH Toolbox assesses cognitive, emotional, sensory and motor functions – all from the convenience of an iPad. Cognition impacts our mental processes, such as how we gain and comprehend knowledge. It is a crucial part of how we think, what we know, what we remember, our judgment, and our ability to solve problems. Cognition also impacts our motor functioning and the ability to use and control our muscles. Motor performance is linked to overall health through dexterity, strength, balance, locomotion, and endurance.

The NIH Toolbox will assess a number of cognitive factors, all the way down to sensory perception. With the findings, staff from the UA’s exercise science center and BTV will help develop individualized cognitive improvement plans for residents who participate in the program. Follow up testing will happen every six months.

As part of this program, we will be adding a few new fitness and wellness offerings, too, such as meditation classes and educational presentations on topics including nutrition, stress management, the importance of social involvement and more.

We’ll be circulating flyers with details about the cognitive testing initiative soon. In the meantime, for more information, please contact the Fitness and Wellness Department at (479) 695-8036.