I went back five-six years, with a very common and ordinary thing, the dishwasher, Mom had to ask me which buttons to push to turn it on, get the right setting, and make sure that it ran the hot air dry cycle.
Then I went back 9 years to when I first got a laptop with a CD burner in it. I knew how Mom used to like to play CDs, so I duped many of the CDs that I had and made 'backup' copies for Mom to listen to during the week when I was not with her. She knew how to open the CD player, put in the CD, turn on the stereo, and play.
Suddenly, one day, she stopped playing CDs, just like that. Mom couldn't do it, couldn't get the ordering of 'get CD, open player, put in CD, close player, turn on stereo. Its a pretty simple thing to those of us who can still order and sequence things, but to Mom, not so simple.
Its kinda like the dishwasher, push button for cycle type, push button for heated dry, push start.
So I can see signs of things starting in 2002-2003.
Let's go back to 2007-2008. We have very mild weather here most of the time, Mom's house does not have air conditioning, the few days that it does get hot it cools off nicely at night; if you keep the house closed up and the drapes shut until late afternoon when the breeze usually kicks in its quite nice, when the breeze blows open up the windows and let the cool air in.
Summertime 2007 I came home on a Friday afternoon, and it was hot, over 95, Mom is really hot, sweating, and I come in the house and all the windows are open, the drapes are all open, and its about 85 in the house. Now I can look back and see the signs, but then I thought Mom still had her wits about her so I asked her why the windows were all open and she fabricated a story about walking with the next door neighbor and she got hot and the neighbor said to open up all the windows.
Hindsight being 20-20, I should have seen the sign, but I didn't.
Maybe all we can do is to tell our stories; those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!