The big day

On the day of the move, follow your loved one's normal routine as much as possible. If you can, handle the move during your loved one's best time of day — whether it's in the morning or the afternoon.

While you're moving, do your best to stay positive. Your attitude can help your loved one feel safe and secure in the new environment.

Once your loved one is settled, trust the staff to help with the next big step — your departure. Rather than making a big deal about your leaving, the staff might engage your loved one in a meaningful activity while you walk away.

Stay in touch

Leaving your loved one in the new home or facility might be difficult for you — both on the day of the move and in the weeks and months that follow. Feelings of grief, loss and guilt are normal.

Keep in mind that it might take your loved one a couple of months to become acclimated to his or her new living arrangement. Visit your loved one often during this time, and encourage friends and family to do the same. Extra care and attention can help make your loved one's new place a home.

Aug. 30, 2012 See more In-depth