My father in law died of Alzheimer's last year after he had reached the point where he forgot how to swallow and inspired food, leading to pneumonia. Over the previous four years, we had watched the progress of this disease until he no longer recognized any family members, knew who he was or what he was doing. This from a man who had been the auditor of a major corporation, who was well read, and who enjoyed life.
He was good natured to the end and never got violent or mean. This is a cruel disease.
Your personal accounts are so much like our family's - my father, age 69, died 11 years ago on Thanksgiving morning of Alzheimers-caused pneumonia, having lost the ability to swallow, speak, or just about anything else. It was really strange to hear that he had lost even his gag reflex. In his last few years, he was paranoid and delusional, and nothing like the gentle, dignified, successful, accomplished television executive he had been. It is a horrid disease.