Lindy Conway cares for her husband Paddy, who has Parkinson's disease and a debilitating form of arthritis. She said the services for carers in Northumberland, where they live, are very useful, but not everyone realises they are there.
"New carers need information from day one," she said. "I would urge anyone in my situation to seek advice and support. There are services in every area to help.
"The instinct is not to make a fuss: to allow the health of the other person to take precedence. But it is very important to look after yourself as well."
A report by a group of charities, published to coincide with Carers Week, said many of the 200,000 carers in the North East were not aware of the support available to them. Most feel "more stressed" because of their caring role.
Lindy said: "People will be pleased to offer you what they can, but they don't always think about it. We have an excellent GP service that we go to, but it has never occurred to any of them to ask me - as a carer - how I am."
Paddy Conway said he worries about his wife, but they work together.
"She is crucial to my life," he said. "She would be crucial even if I didn't have my illness. But this adds an extra layer."