I never owned one before 1997.
It was the year of my first hip replacement. I was at the Pre-Admission Clinic meeting with an anesthesiologist, nurse, occupational therapist and physical therapist. They wanted to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome with my new bionic part.
The occupational therapist wanted to ensure that I had carefully followed the itemized list in my New Hip Owner's Manual - I can't remember what the official title was - that was provided to me by the surgeon on behalf of the hospital.
For those who don't know, ninety degrees, not six, is the magic number with a new hip. For three months post-surgery, you cannot bend over more than ninety degrees. If you exceed this, you run the risk of dislocating that new piece of hardware.
This happened to me, but for another reason altogether different. More about that in a future post.
Anyway, the long-handled shoe horn was on that list, along with a few other items such as a sock puller-upper and a pants puller-upper (not the official names!). All of which are guaranteed to keep you within the 90 degree range!
Since then, that long-handled shoe horn has been put to great use. Not only by me, but by visiting, less-agile, friends and family.