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The Direct Assessment of Functional Status-Revised (DAFS-R) is an instrument developed to objectively measure functional capacities required for independent living. The objective of this study was to translate and culturally adapt the DAFS-R for Brazilian Portuguese (DAFS-BR) and to evaluate its reliability and validity. The DAFS-BR was administered to 89 older patients classified previously as normal controls, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The results indicated good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.78) in the total sample. The DAFS-BR showed high interobserver reliability (0.996; p < .001) as well as test–retest stability over 1-week interval (0.995; p < .001). Correlation between the DAFS-BR total score and the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) was moderate and significant (r = −.65, p < .001) in the total sample, whereas it did not reach statistical significance within each diagnostic group. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses suggested that DAFS-BR has good sensitivity and specificity to identify MCI and AD. Results suggest that DAFS-BR can document degrees of severity of functional impairment among Brazilian older adults.