Early neuropsychological deficits associated with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been characterized as memory deficits and impaired executive function or attention. The functional impact of early impairment was investigated by evaluating performance of everyday actions in older adults with mild AD (n = 15) as compared with healthy age-matched controls (n = 16). Everyday actions were familiar activities, for example, making a cup of tea, but were varied in complexity (simple, complex) and were performed under varied attention demand (single task, dual task). Although both participant groups responded to increasing task complexity by making more errors, the AD group made more errors under dual-task conditions regardless of the complexity of the task. Furthermore, a task requiring strategic retrieval of semantic information from long-term memory and manipulation of attention online (category fluency) was able to account for a large proportion of the group-related variance in everyday task performance. Results are discussed in relation to the role of components of working memory in performance of everyday actions in mild AD.