11/21/2014 09:00 EST | Updated 01/21/2015 05:59 EST

Gordie Howe A Bit Better: Son Mark To Detroit Free Press

Getty Images
MONTREAL, QC - 1970's: Gordie Howe #9 of the Detroit Red Wings poses for a photo in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mark Howe told the Detroit Free Press today that his dad, Gordie, has shown minor improvements and "isn't in so much pain anymore."

Although Howe, 86, remains mostly quiet and immobile, the family was able to get him out of bed "to a living room chair" for the past two days.

"No walking or speech, but at least he's out of bed," Mark Howe said.

Gordie Howe, who suffers from dementia, had a series of strokes beginning last summer, including a severe one on Oct. 26 that left him paralyzed on his right side.

Sons Mark, Marty and Murray all travelled to their sister's home in Lubbock, Texas, where Gordie is staying, after the major stroke. At that time, Gordie made some improvement, but his health took a turn for the worse last weekend.

Gordie was given an epidural which eased his pain and the family was able to get him out of bed.

Gordie Howe's legendary NHL career included six Art Ross trophies, six Hart trophies and four Stanley Cups.

"He's eating again, so his quality of life has improved, "Mark Howe said. "We take each day as it comes and are just happy he isn't in so much pain any more."