20 April 2021
Team SD Worx supports trauma and dementia project

Cycling for dignified care, free of fear

The Team SD Worx women's cycling team is supporting a crowdfunding campaign for dignified care for people with dementia and PTSD. This week, a team racing bicycle will be sold to the highest bidder. In addition, a number of cycling jerseys are available for donors. The money will go to a project of UM researcher Sjacko Sobczak, who is developing a new tool for diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in people with dementia.

Called the TRADE interview, this tool can be used to diagnose PTSD in people who are no longer able to tell their life story themselves. This can trigger frustration, agitation and anxiety among people in nursing homes. It can also lead to incomprehension on the part of care workers. According to estimations, at least 8 percent of the 280,000 Dutch people with dementia also suffer from severe anxiety (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

TRADE is a contraction of TRAuma and Dementia. The method was developed by a number of experts, including Dr Sjacko Sobczak, geriatric psychiatrist at Mondriaan and researcher at Maastricht University.

My interest in life stories was confirmed when, as a medical student, I started working in a care home. I discovered that there were people who were seen as 'difficult' or 'troublesome', because of aggression, for example, or because they constantly called out for help. Now, as a geriatric psychiatrist, I can really mean something for them," says Dr Sobczak, who works as a researcher at MHeNs, the Maastricht University School for Mental Health and Neuroscience. She hopes that the TRADE project can result in a people-oriented and innovative treatment method for PTSD which can be broadly applied in regional and national care centres.

Team SD Worx after finishing the Amstel Gold Race
Team SD Worx after the Amstel Gold Race

Ups and downs

The project has aroused the interest of the Limburg-based Team SD Worx women's cycling team. In top-level sport, you often have to deal with setbacks, injuries or loss. A cycling accident can be traumatic and have a long-term impact. Resilience and mental strength are needed to recover, says the cycling team, which regularly supports social charity campaigns.

This year, they are asking interested parties and partners of the team for a financial contribution to the TRADE project. The prize money which the team earned during the Amstel Gold Race held in Limburg at the weekend will also go to the University Fund Limburg/SWOL for the benefit of the research project.

Team SD Worx is offering an assembled racing bicycle by auction. In addition, a number of signed cycling shirts are available for donors. The campaign runs until the day of the upcoming Liège-Bastogne-Liège cycling classic on Sunday 25 April.

More about the Team SD Worx initiative on the website of UM Crowd, UM's crowdfunding platform.