Panama House

green flowers

Panama House

Funder and service provider: Island Health


The purpose of this housing program is to support individuals who have persistent mental health symptoms and are stabilizing. These clients are able to live semi-independently but require a higher level of support with activities of daily living, nursing and mental health. Panama House can support clients who also have mild to moderate chronic medical issues, such as diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung and kidney disease, as long as their care can be managed in a community setting and does not require frequent unscheduled nursing care.

Panama House is licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. See inspection reports about this facility.


Access and Referral Information:

Please visit this web page to learn more about access and referrals to Panama House.


Program Criteria:

• Clients must be 19 years or older and require 24-hour care.
• The client’s primary care need is related to a diagnosis of severe and persistent mental health illness.
• Alcohol or recreational drug use is discouraged and substances are not permitted on site.
• Clients must be willing to actively participate in rehabilitation and recovery plans.
• TB screening/testing


Building features and description:

The building is a house in Victoria with six rooms. There are four rooms on the main floor and two rooms on a lower floor. Each bedroom has its own four-piece, en-suite bathroom with tub and shower. The bedrooms have an average-sized closet, a bed, a stand-up dresser and bedside table with a locking drawer. There is no storage space. Clients may bring their own television, computer, or small items and are welcome to use their own pillows and linens.

The shared kitchen is on the main floor and a kitchenette is downstairs. There is a common area on each floor where there is a TV and space for clients to have activities. The laundry room is on the main floor and there is a level entry at the front door. Bathroom safety equipment can be added depending on the room/set-up. There is a phone line for clients for local calls.



  • One mental health worker on at all times 24/7 weekdays and weekends
  • One registered nurse Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • One registered nurse Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • One coordinator Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Financial support:

Many people 64 years and under receive Persons with Disability (PWD) income from the BC Ministry of Social Development. If this applies to clients at Panama House, the program per diem (daily fee) will be arranged to be paid directly by the Ministry. Eligible clients 65 years or older who receive federal benefits (e.g. Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplements (GIS) are responsible to make the per diem payments). At the request of their legal representative (e.g. Power of Attorney or Public Guardian and Trustee) clients can get assistance to manage and administer their finances. Financial support for medical equipment and supplies is guided by disability benefits, Pharmacare coverage, and Island Health policies.


Length of stay:

Length of stay is dependent on client need. If care needs or individual behavior go beyond what one staff member can manage safely, a referral to a higher level of care may be necessary. Likewise, if a client no longer needs 24 hour staff support a referral to a lower level of care will be made.


Level entry and access. A client can use a mobility aid if operated safely and is able to complete transfers independently.

Bus Route/Transit

Assistance is provided in obtaining a bus pass, and HandyDART services.  The nurse supports transportation to medical appointments. 

Visitors and Caregivers

No overnight visitors. Clients can inform staff when a visitor is expected.  Visitors stay in the common areas of the house, except family may visit in client rooms.  Guests may stay for a meal when prearranged with staff.

Spiritual Care

Individual lifestyle choices such as social, cultural and spiritual beliefs will be respected and supported. There is no religious service provided in the home. Seasonal holidays are celebrated by decorating and having special meals. Staff support clients to engage in offsite spiritual activities by assisting to organize transportation and scheduling

Pet Policy

Pets are not permitted.

Smoking Policy

No smoking or vaping indoors. Smoking is permitted in the outdoor designated area only. Recreational cannabis use is not permitted. Medical cannabis use will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but must be smoked off-site only.

Safety/Security Features

Monitored entry, staff office overlooks the front door and doors are locked at night. No security cameras. Staff are trained for the event of earthquake, fire, and disaster.  Onsite staff are responsible for snow removal. The house is equipped with smoke detectors and sprinklers. Fire drills are held monthly. 

Any Other Amenities

Mental Health supports:
Mental status monitoring, Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) activity groups, goal setting, skill building, individualized care planning

Social supports:
Individuals must have access to a general practitioner (GP), or Nurse Practitioner (NP), and will be referred to medical services in the community. This includes optometry, physiotherapy, dental care, podiatry. Staff help with referrals, appointments, and transportation.

Recovery programming on site:
Psychosocial-Rehabilitation (PSR) model of care. Assist clients in program goals and increasing independence. Program Activity worker attends site. Leaves such as vacations and overnight stays away with family arranged on an individual needs basis.

Nursing/medical supports:
RN/RPN Nursing on-site Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but time off may be replaced by MHW if alternate nurse not available.

Medication supports:
Medication support by onsite nurse and staff. Clients must be able to self-administer their own insulin.

Personal hygiene:
Education prompts/reminders. Staff can provide some light personal care assistance for scheduled activities such as shower standby, hair-washing, etc.

Three meals and two snacks a day are provided. Client participation encouraged. Menus are regulated and approved by a Community Care officer. Individual likes and dislikes are considered. Alternative choices will be provided for therapeutic/medical and culturally appropriate diets.

Education, prompting, support, and daily room checks are provided by onsite staff. Clients have an assigned laundry and room cleaning day. Level of staff support is based on client need.

Education, prompts, support, and daily checks are provided by onsite staff. Level of staff support is based on client need. There is no extra charge for laundry.


Sooke Region, West Shore & Urban Greater Victoria