If you look after a parent, partner or child with health problems, you are a carer - whether you think of yourself as one or not. And when someone depends on you, it is even more important to look after yourself.
Charities say many carers neglect their own health and wellbeing because they are consumed by concern for others.
A report issued by a group of charities to coincide with Carers Week said eight out of ten carers in the North East were unaware where to go for advice and support.
So where should you start? The following care centres or associations have been recommended by the Carers Trust as good points of contact for those starting out.
- Carers Northumberland tel. 0844 800 7354 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Carers Centre Newcastle tel. 0191 260 3030 (email@example.com)
- North Tyneside Carers Centre tel. 0191 643 2298 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Carers Association in South Tyneside (CAST) tel. 0192 454 3346 (email@example.com)
- Gateshead Carers Centre tel. 0192 490 0121 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Crossroads Care Gateshead tel. 01207 549 780 (email@example.com)
- Sunderland Carers Centre tel. 0191 549 3768 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Durham County Carers Support tel. 0300 005 1213 (email@example.com)
- Hartlepool Carers tel. 01429 283 095
- For more on this story, including the experiences of Lindy and Paddy Conway, click here.