How to encourage more independence without being a bossy monster?

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Mom spends winter with us in Florida and suddenly becomes more dependent. In her home she does more for herself. Here she can't do her own laundry because of steps but she is getting to the point where she won't help at all. I don't expect much but I think she could set the table or stir something on the stove for me but she just sits till dinner is ready. If I go to bed early, she won't stay up either. She goes to her room. She eats breakfast in the kitchen if I'm not here but if I'm here watching the news in the morn she brings her breakfast into the living room. She stays on re liner 12 hours a day despite three doctors telling her she needs to move. I keep the house 70-71, she stays covered up on the recliner with a blanket and refuses to wear long sleeves or a sweater in the house. I am getting extremely frustrated, she might as well stay in PA on her recliner under a blanket as sit here. At least here she can get out in nice weather and take short walks and she won't. She won't do anything. Granted she can't walk long distance but a couple short walks a day would good. She wants me to provide entertainment also but what we do is not what she wants to do and she won't go to Sr Center. I am so ready for her to go home and feel guilty feeling like that but unfortunately when she leaves I have to take her and then stay with her a couple weeks.

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Karbar, your profile says that your mother suffers with dementia. In that case, I'd try to read as much about dementia and how it effects people. It's not uncommon for people with dementia to lose INITIATIVE. That means, their brain no longer tells them to pick up a book, take a walk or even to take a bath. And even when it's suggested, their brain may not permit them to remember how to do it.

I discovered that when my LO lost interest in things, she no longer seemed to derive any pleasure from them. She couldn't remember things, she got confused, she was embarrassed and scared too. I wish then, that I realized what she was really experiencing. There are some excellent books out there. I think one is called The 36 Hour Day. There are also some excellent videos on You tube by Teepa Snow.

What level is her current dementia? If she's not participating in things, I'd explore future care, because, it does progress and things will be even more demanding for the caregiver. Do you have someone to help you with her care?

I'd keep in mind that the things that you may be asking her about or suggesting, may not be in her memory.  And, that being super cold, is not uncommon either. My LO used to be very hot natured, but, she became cold all the time, to the point, that we had to put a security device on the thermostat.  She could not get warm enough.  I'd also discuss this with her doctor though, to rule out any medical problem.  
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Guilty as charged , when I visit my daughter for R & R I also tend to do nothing but I do try and take a walk every day. I certainly would help but I am never asked and offers are refused by my very fast and efficient daughter. I do spend a lot of time on my computer and may do a little knitting but she would have to take me kicking and screaming to a senior center.
karbar as far as your Mom is concerned definitely check on her health both physical and mental. It just may be that she is getting older and secumbering to the lethargy that frequently accompanies aging.
My advice would be to stop beating yourself up and stressing out after you have checked her health and just let her do what she wants. Do what you want and if she refuses take her answer and leave her alone.
Younger people and professionals may say her lifestyle is not healthy but she is an adult and as such has free choice to make her own decisions good or bad.
Once you have determined that she is safe at home and can manage independently don't insist she comes to Florida every winter. Make any visit to Florida short, maybe from Thanksgiving to new year if she likes and you make a few short trips to PA several times a year to check on her.
The elderly get pretty set in their ways and know what keeps them content. The elderly do feel the cold more and maybe find sweaters too difficult to put on or uncomfortable.
How do i know? Well I didn't when I was young but now I am a year shy of 80 I do understand how your mom feels. I too put on an extra blanket when i am cold and sit in my recliner. The only thing I don't do is watch TV all day.
I do do other necessary things like grocery shopping but need to use and electric cart as my legs are very weak.
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Also, why do you have to stay a couple weeks with her when she goes home? Would it be possible to stay a few days and get her settled and then come back for one or two more short trips later in the year. That way you won't get so stressed out and you'll be able to keep a better eye on her and be able to see if she's going down hill.
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Your mom is acting like a guest in your home. She expects to be entertained and taken care of. My mom visits my brother for a month every year and is the same way. They say she does absolutely nothing the whole visit. When she lived with me for 18 months before moving into her apartment she was the same way. I couldn't get her to do anything. She was content to sit in front of the TV all day.
Chances are your mom does the same thing in her own home. She probably only does what she has to, no more.
I've finally quit nagging my mom to get involved, exercise etc.
It's her life and her choices. She's never going to change. I feel a lot less guilt and stress coming to this realization.
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First check there haven't been any changes in her physical or mental condition that might limit her ability to engage. Has every winter been like this, or is this year somehow different? If this degree of lethargy/apathy is new, I'd be suspicious.

If you've ruled out identifiable reasons for her becoming less active, then I'm afraid you might be stuck with positive reinforcement - praising and cheering whenever she does show a flurry of interest in something or there are signs of restlessness so that you can seize the day and get her out into the fresh air.

What's she got against the Senior Center? Has she tried it and didn't like it? If she's never even tried it, I think it would be fair enough to push for that at least once.
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