Our vacuum was considered 'old' when we first got it.
My Mother-in-law found a great Spimplicity vacuum (never heard of it? Because it's not being made anymore.) at a garage sale more than nine years ago. I loved it: great suction, all the hose attachments, even a pretty green color! I had so much confidence: this I could manage without help!
It performed beautifully for us for several years but recently it has been showing its age.
The long nozzle attachment that gets longer as you add its friends was my favorite part. I could suction spiders from tight crevices while standing eight feet away (okay, more like three, but it felt like eight)! Then the fitting cracked and had to be repaired with electrical tape, thus it never quite fit correctly again. Drat.
The light later flickered for months before going out completely (not a calamity, but it still counts) and the bumper has come loose, thus helping to mark up the walls with minor dents. Hmm.
Husband bought me another vacuum for my birthday a few years ago as a replacement, but after the initial love affair I drifted back to my old Simplicity (it was either because the noise level on the new one rivaled a lawn mower or because I vacuumed up some spiders and, instead of throwing out the bag, was required to 'empty the canister'. Ew. Never happened - spiders still in there.).
Then came the vague hints that it was ready for retirement: physical violence, especially towards me. For some reason the catch the keeps the back of the vacuum from reclining when not in use deteriorated. Now it falls down constantly: a breeze from the fan, someone walking nearby, a door slamming. Myself and various children (not all of whom belong to me) have been injured by said deterioration and I have the bruises to prove it. It is especially bad when crouching under a table and attempting to use the hose: the vacuum will get you every time.
The final straw (or, maybe not, you never know) came a few days ago when the nozzle on the hose that plugs into the body of the vacuum came completely off. Pieces had cracked and fallen off for years but without this final piece the hose just flops around aimlessly. In attempting to vacuum today the free-wheeling hose swung back and suctioned to my pants every time I pulled the monster back. This was getting a little too friendly for my taste, so I held the hose and handle in one hand, and the extra loop of cord in the other. This worked fine until I realized that the suction was getting about 80% of the crumbs off the floor, and then loosing gumpf part way through the system and spitting sixty percent of the crumbs back onto the floor. I vacuumed for ten minutes and only managed to rid the floor of twelve crumbs.