The purpose of this study was to identify, classify and analyze the perceived needs of caregivers of elderly people with dementia during the care process. A descriptive phenomenological qualitative study using seven focus groups was conducted in different primary health care centers in the province of Jaén (Spain) between July 2012 and February 2013. Eighty-two family caregivers who were caring for people with dementia in different stages of the disease were selected by purposeful maximum variation sampling. Data were analyzed and organized thematically, considering the semantic and pragmatic content and field notes. Two main categories of the perceived needs of caregivers were identified. The first was related to the management of caring for a relative with dementia, and the second was related to the management of the caregivers' own care. Our findings support the provision of comprehensive interventions for the improvement of caregivers' emotional health that encompass more than one care need. This is where psycho-educational interventions aimed at managing the various aspects of dementia and self-care in caregivers can be accommodated. In addition, proactive interventions to develop important skills to care for a relative with dementia, which are not perceived as needs by the caregivers, are needed. These include skills in family negotiation, planning and searching for resources outside the family.