For questions, we try to accept a declarative word order like yours - but only when there is no "czy" in the sentence.
If there's no "czy", you can interpret the question as "What?! This woman is old? She looks no more than 40!"
If you start with "czy", it really is a yes/no question.
Just wanna throw out there that I really enjoy the explanations you give of things. You've helped clarify a good amount of how Polish works as a language.
No, that's not a translation. That's "Jeśli/Jeżeli ta kobieta jest stara". And it's definitely not a question, while we have a question here.