The 86-year-old Howe, known as "Mr. Hockey" to many, is resting at his daughter's home in Lubbock, Tex., according to the report.
The Detroit News quoted Howe's son, Dr. Murray Howe, as saying Howe is having trouble speaking and has lost some function on one side of his body.
"The right side of his body is very, very weak," said Dr. Howe. "He's unable to stand without help. He's able to speak, but very, very difficult to speak.
"He knows who he is. He knows the people around him. But it is very difficult for him to get up and walk around. So he is pretty much confined to his bed right now. So we're just trying to keep him comfortable, and that's our goal."
Howe hails from Floral, Sask., and grew up in Saskatoon.
He retired in 1980 as the NHL leader in career goals (801) and career points (1850) - both records were later broken by Wayne Gretzky - but Howe always maintained that his string of 20-straight seasons as one of the league's top-five scorers was the true measure of his Hall of Fame career.
Howe also won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings during his career.