Yes I wear a helmet. I also experimented with wrist guards but had trouble with those as they dug into my hands and I found it hard to undo bindings etc so may have to look into some alternatives if I start again.
I just wish I could let go of the fear - I think that's my biggest problem. But I don't have any fear of a level 1 lesson which is why I would start there.
Of course I know that I can never really prevent injury, it's always going to be a risk but as you say, people do injure themselves on stairs and other stupid things! And I don't want to be like that any more. I quit karate too and I miss that too. Just feeling a bit old and boring now and just want to get back into the things I enjoy without being such a wuss lol!
I see you are a new poster, not sure if you have lurked much, I'll assume not. Around here at least for the guys our age and above we are affectionately known as "gummers". Spend a little time here and you'll soon see you are nowhere near getting too old. I came here as a skier looking for advice for my son who had just started and assumed I was too old to make the transition. It took about a week of reading from the older crowd on here before I decided screw that, I'm going to try. Now I'm counting the days until December to go again.