I can offer some simple instructions, it best to break down the operations required into simple steps so you understand what is happening and where operation may be going wrong.
First I assume you have a Windows PC with Windows 7, 8 or 10 and you have switched it on and logged in.
1. The card reader if it is an external type should be connected to the PC with a cable going to a USB port. If the card reader is built into the computer it will already be connected internally.
2. Insert the compact flash card into the card reader the correct way round.
3. At this point provided the compact flash card has images stored on it, you should be able to search the computer file system and find your computer hard discs and any external disk drives, DVD drives, and usb memory sticks, as well as the card reader which may show as many hard drives (e.g. Each drive is signified by a letter, the main hard drive may be C:/ the DVD drive may be D:/ and your card reader may be J:/, K:/,L:/ etc. Depending upon the number of card types that can be inserted in it.
4. To search the computer file system you would use Windows Explorer or My Computer from the start button on the lower left. If you are totally new to doing this I suggest you get a younger member of you family to show you what to look for. Windows 10 is a little different and there is usually a folder icon at the bottom of the screen to allow you to get to the file system.
5. It is then possible to use the file system to search the card reader for your photographs and copy them, then paste them to the file location of your choice. You would need to look at the folders on the compact flash card to copy all the photos or individual photos or a few photos. Before jumping in and trying to copy all in one go, to your year, month system it would be best to copy one raw photo and paste it on your desktop ( note the file name before copying). You could create a folder naming it John Photos on your desktop and paste the file in that location. By copying and pasting the file you will not be removing the photo from your compact flash card. It is best to use this method to be sure they have all been copied successfully first, then delete the photos on the compact flash card by putting the card back in the camera and formatting the card using the camera menu system.
I suspect your wife probably used Bridge as the file system to locate the card reader and create the folder system and stored them in your year, month notation. Open Bridge to see If you can navigate to old photos. I doubt she used Photoshop to copy the files and store them as you can only open individual files with Photoshop. Barry has the Photoshop CC tutorials available on his new website so I suggest you download them and watch the Bridge related videos to how to use it.
She may also have used Lightroom to do the same. Again see Barry's Lightroom tutorials.
to copy a file click on it to highlight it, then press the CTRL key, hold it down and Press the C key.
To paste a file, after you have navigated the file system to the location where you want it, press the CTRL key, hold it down and Press the V key.
The photo should then show up in your chosen location. You can then open Photoshop and use the File menu to open the photo after navigating again to the chosen location.
If using Bridge it is a little easier to go to the folder and open in Photoshop. See Barry''s videos.