Services & FAQ’s

At Dowda Senior Consultants, our #1 goal is to help families in every way we possibly can – while never charging them for these services. To this end, we have gathered a team to come alongside your family and our hope is that you will call us right now to allow us to start helping you right away! Please don’t wait until you are in crisis – start taking steps now towards a more peaceful future!

Our Process

Step 1 - Discovery

Jen Dowda, founder, and placement expert at Dowda Senior Consultants, will personally meet with you to truly understand your unique situation. She will discuss your needs, goals, concerns, geography, preferences, and budget. With you, she will discover the best next steps for your loved one and create a plan of action.

Step 2 - Decision

Our team helps you implement that plan. We help you with adaptations to be made within the home, or take you to tour communities and help you find the best fit.

Step 3 - Action & Follow Up

Once a decision has been reached, we help you with every aspect of the transition to a new living situation. Once the transition’s been made, we continue to be a part of your lives — bringing birthday cakes, visiting your loved one, and advocating for you with the community if needed. You truly become part of our family!

Continuing Support

In order to help you be able to love and care for your family in the best way possible, Jen has gathered a team to support you every step along the way. Once you invite us in to help, you are given a complimentary hour from each of these gifted professionals as well as four complimentary hours from our moving coordinator.  ALL of Jen’s support, guidance and assistance is completely free every step along the way.  For the rest of the team, after that initial consultation, a plan will be set in place as to how to proceed for each particular family, making sure that you are well cared for and supported.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best senior living community in Richmond?

We believe that there is no single best community. Instead, there is the best FIT for you or your loved one.  Over her years of working with seniors, Jen has gotten to know each of these communities as well the people who are in charge of them on a very deep level.  She understands how each of them “feels” and knows where your loved one would thrive.  Her thorough knowledge of the senior living communities all over the greater Richmond area is a huge gift that she brings to the table, to help your family in finding the perfect fit for you or your loved one.

You say that your service is free. How do you get paid?

If/when a senior moves into a community, Dowda Senior Consultants receives a referral fee from the community.  

What happens if my loved one does not move into a community? Will we end up having to pay for your services?

No.  Even if they do not move into a community, our services are still free.

Do I get as many hours as I would like from each member of your team?

Jen’s advisory and support services are ALWAYS FREE. The rest of the team is free for the original hour consultation and then a plan is put into place for fees paid after that time.  Four hours of moving consultation/design service is also free.

What areas do you serve?

We offer our services all over the greater Richmond area, but we would be happy to have a conversation with you about a loved one living elsewhere, to help you think through the issues and assist you with questions you might have that will have the same answers no matter where you live.  We can also connect you with folks who do senior placements in the city in which your loved one lives.

How is Dowda Senior Consultants addressing COVID?

We are committed to the safety of our team as well as our clients. We are following all CDC guidelines and following best practices in all scenarios.  Many communities are not offering in-person tours, making our services that much more important, as we can help you really understand what these communities are like. We have been in them countless times ourselves, and can be your guide as to how the communities each feel on the inside.   When we meet for our consultations with families, we are always willing to meeting virtually if that makes a client feel safer. The well-being of our clients is always our first priority.

Why should I use your service rather than doing the search myself?

One of the most important reasons for reaching out to Dowda Senior Consultants is that we can truly help you understand each community. We keep up with our families for their entire journey, so we are able to tell you what it is like to live in the community or to have a family member doing so. Often we can put you in touch with a family who has a loved one living there, so you can get your questions answered by someone who can truly address all of your concerns personally.

What if my loved one does not want to move? What if they might move but it will be in the far future? Is it a waste of your time for me to call you?

Absolutely not! Over and over we find that just having a conversation with us will bring you more peace and lower your anxiety level.  We would love to help you think through your options and even if your loved one stays home we have resources to help. And we highly recommend always having a back-up plan just in case an emergency occurs and a move is necessary.  

My mom is quite elderly, but I am not sure she will ever need assisted living and she hopes to live out her days in her own home. Should I still call you?

Yes!  What we have found over the years is that people often wait until they are in crisis to start the search process. At this point their loved one is unable to participate in the decision making. The search itself is a panicked race rather than a leisurely thoughtful stroll.  If an emergency does occur, we would so much rather that you have a plan in place than to try to make something work at the last minute.

My dad needs a LOT of care. He probably needs a nursing home and can’t go to an assisted living, right?

The good news is that assumption is often incorrect.  Assisted living communities are regulated by the Department of Social Services and are able to offer a very high level of care – far beyond what most people realize.  They are much less expensive and much more home-like than skilled nursing facilities, and often families are surprised by how lovely they are and how much care they can offer.


“I needed to find a new community with a higher level of care for my mother. Jen heard my needs, narrowed down the prospects and accompanied me on all of the tours. Her support before, during and after the move has been invaluable to my family’s peace of mind.”

We are here to help.

Please do not walk this journey alone. Allow Dowda Senior Consultants to support you.