Are you using single crochets, hdc, double crochets, what? If you're using single crochets, usually your turning chain (a ch 1) and the sc are grouped together as one stitch.
If you're using any other kind of stitch (hdc, dc, etc.), you're turning chain ACTS AS the first stitch.
At any rate, are you able to identify a stitch right after you make it? I ask because it would seem to me that you can use the method I suggested. That is:
1. crochet in the next-to-the last stitch of a row
2. put a marker in the top of the stitch made in step 1
3. crochet in the last stitch
4. crochet your turning chain and turn
5. crochet in the stitch with the marker in it
6. move your marker up to mark the stitch made in step 5 as the next-to-the-last stitch.
This won't help you the first time you do it, but it should help you in all subsequent rows!
Something else that's good to know is that your turning chain (for hdc, dc, etc.) is usually a little skinnier than a regular stitch. Also, you can tug gently on the stitches at the end of a row and find where the stitch goes into the stitch below. Then follow that stitch up to find the top of it.