My husband Ali is the high-spirited sort. He likes to shadow-box, dance while he’s cooking and run down the house stairs as if he’s being pursued by Cossacks. The latter came to a bad end when he missed a step in the dark one night and fell all the way down.

Waking up to a tremendous crash, we ran downstairs in alarm to find Ali crumpled at the bottom of the stairs, his legs gashed and bleeding. “It’s nothing,” he said airily, waving off help as he limped off to find bandages. The incident did have one lasting effect, though: Although Ali still likes to run down the stairs, now he always does it with the light on.

My husband is one of the lucky ones. He made a complete recovery, unlike two of my uncles, who died from falls at home and at work, respectively. As part of Fall Prevention Awareness Week this September 23-29, the National Council on Aging offers the following tips on what you can do to prevent a fall in your house.

NCOA 6 steps to prevent a fall

NCOA fall

(Photo: National Council on Aging/NCOA )