When Mom was 80, she bought a house just down the street from me--her only child. This was her not-so-subtle acknowledgement that she knew she was slowing down, approaching elderhood, and needed or would need help in the future.
She wanted to live close enough to be able walk to my house for a visit and that's often what we did. We would have dinner together or share a glass of wine on her deck at least once a week, sometimes more often; then she or I would walk home. As the years passed, I would ask her to call me when she got home; then I would walk her halfway home and finally all the way home.
Mom died a year and a half ago after a five-month battle with advanced liver cancer. I've come to see our last years together as a metaphor for the way I'd like to live through my elderhood, the inevitable process of slowing down: Live close. Visit often. Walk each other home.